Chariot Construction Begins for Puri's Rath Yatra Festival

Construction of three 43-45 feet high chariots for Lord Jagannath's Rath Yatra festival has begun in Puri, India, on Akshaya Tritiya. The 21-day Chandan Yatra festival also commenced, featuring a procession of idols from the Shree Jagannath temple to Narendra Pokhari.

Aqsa Younas Rana
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Chariot Construction Begins for Puri's Rath Yatra Festival

Chariot Construction Begins for Puri's Rath Yatra Festival

The construction of chariots for the annual Rath Yatra work, kicks off of Lord Jagannath has commenced in Puri, India, on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya. A team of 100 skilled servitors are diligently working to create three majestic chariots, each standing an impressive 43-45 feet high, in preparation for the grand celebration scheduled from July 7 to July 15, 2024.

Why this matters: The Rath Yatra festival is a significant cultural and religious event that attracts millions of devotees from around the world, highlighting India's rich cultural heritage and its importance in promoting tourism and economic growth. The festival's grandeur and popularity also underscore the need for effective crowd management and security measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants.

The ritual began with the performed, cutting, festival, date, time of a sacred 'Homa' (yajna), followed by the temple administration according ceremonial head gears to the three Biswakarmas (carpenters) tasked with overseeing the chariot construction. The wooden logs selected for this divine purpose were consecrated by the temple priests on Ram Navami.

The Rath Yatra, considered one of the biggestin the world, holds great significance for devotees who believe it brings good fortune and prosperity. The chariots, made of wood sourced from the Dasapalla forest and the Mahanadi riverbank, are crafted using around 12 carefully selected types of wood renowned for their strength and durability. Adorned with 108 ghadas (small pots), these chariots symbolize Lord Jagannath's power and serve as a focal point of the festival.

In the days leading up to the Rath Yatra, devotees will clean the Gundicha Temple, while the chariots will be decorated with flowers and ornaments. Approximately 1200 meters of cloth will be used to cover these magnificent structures, adding to their grandeur and visual appeal.

Coinciding with the chariot construction, the 21-day annual water sports festival of the Trinity, known as Chandan Yatra, also began on Akshaya Tritiya. The festival commenced with a procession of Madan Mohan, the representative idol of Lord Jagannath, his consort Goddess Lakshmi, and Panch Mahadevas from the Shree Jagannath temple to Narendra Pokhari.

The Rath Yatra festival is celebrated with immense enthusiasm and fervor, attracting millions of devotees from around the world. As the construction of the chariots progresses, the anticipation for this grand event continues to build, with the people of Puri and beyond eagerly awaiting the moment when Lord Jagannath, along with his divine siblings, will embark on their annual journey in these magnificent chariots.