A Walking Tour of Holy India

In India, going on pilgrimage to places where the Supreme Lord performed His pastimes is as popular, or more so, than sightseeing is in the West. Every year hundreds of millions of Indians journey by plane, train, bus, auto, ox cart, and on foot to ancient temples and to holy cities. The word pada-yatra (literally "walking festival") refers to any extended walking tour of sacred places. Thuspada-yatra is an integral part of India's honored pilgrimage tradition. Five hundred years ago, when the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, descended as Lord Caitanya to play the part of His own devotee, He performedpada-yatra, traveling on foot all over South India and Inspiring everyone to chant Krsna's holy name. To commemorate the appearance and travels of Lord Caitanya, a pada-yatra organized by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness has been touring around the entire Indian subcontinent, visiting many of the same pilgrimage sites Lord Caitanya visited.

This special section features an article by His Holiness Lokanatha Swami, the pada-yatra's chief organizer. His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami, another pada-yatra leader, delivers a provoking commentary on the influence of Western culture on India's village life. His Holiness Jagatguru Swami tells us about the South Indian city of Sri Rangam and of Lord Caitanya's historic visit there five centuries ago.