Construction of Chariots - Tradition
Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015
For 'Ratha Yatra' (Both Chariot and Return Chariot Festival), three numbers of wooden chariots are prepared every year. The construction of chariot is done, as prescribed in 'Ratha Sanhita' (chariot code). The construction is completed, adhering to relevant principles and stipulated dates.
On the auspicious day of 'Saraswati Puja' (In the month of February, a festival of Devi Saraswati, Goddess of knowledge and wisdom), wood meant for the construction of chariots are brought to the 'Ratha Khala' (a place where the work is undertaken), in front of the Temple Office. Usually, chariot construction work is carried for 15 days every year while it takes 45 days in case of 'Nabakalebara'(divine Rebirth). This extension facilitates the construction work as 'Parswa Debata' (deities installed on sides), 'Dwarapala' (watchmen), 'Ghoda' (horse), 'Sarathi' (charioteer), 'Sua' (parrot) etc are built newly for 'Nabakalebara'.
Wood for the chariots are cut and sized in Saw Mills on the occasion of Shree Ram Navami. Construction work is started on 'Akshaya Trutiya'. The axle is set on 'Bhaunree' (Boat game festival or 'Chandan Yatra' of the deities) and 'Charinahaka' are taken up to the chariot on 'Snana Purnima' (Bathing Festival). However, the chariots become ready just 2-3 days before the Chariot Festival and are placed near the 'Sinhadwara' (Lions' Gate).
'Sevaka' (Servitors) named Maharana Sevak, Kamar Sevak, Bhoi and Rupakar are engaged in the construction works of the chariots.
Source :I & PR Department