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Making of the Rathas in Puri, Odisha India

Making of the Rathas in Puri, Odisha India

Rathas and idols of deities are made by traditional and local craft persons. Symbolizing that deity was a local God. No one is allowed to enter into the temple once woods are brought from nearby Dasapalla Forest for making of idols.

The making of the Rathas for the Rath Yatra festival begins on the Akshaya Tritiya day of Hindu calendar. Main rituals for Puri Rath Yatra last for a month. Main rituals are Snan Yatra, Anasara, Suna Besha etc.

As informed by temple priests, a dream comes to Chief Priest about where abouts of certain Margo Trees with special features of tree like wheel, certain no. of branches, location along water-body etc. It is said that dream comes to only Chief Priest and he dies after that. The fact may be Chief Priest would be oldest one having great experience and tradition of identifying trees. Priest might die within 12 or 19 years of long wait for next Rath Yatra and tradition would be carried forward by next Chief Priest.

Whatever the fact, a team of other priests and security guards search for Margo Trees with certain marks as told by Chief Priest.

After identification traditional families of carpenters cut the trees and trees logs are brought to Jagannath Temple for Navakalevar or Navakalebar, i.e. new form of God by flowing from River Mahanadi and transporting on trucks.

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The Chariots/Cars or Rathas of Rath Yatra Puri

Three Chariots stand in Grand Avenue after getting decorated with all the recommended procedures for centuries. Grand Avenue is locally called as Bada Danda. It is near eastern entrance of the splendid Jagannath temple. This entrance of Jagannath Temple is also called Simha dwar or Lion’s Gate because of its greatness.

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