when we talk of Lord Jagannath – the God of Universe, the first thing that comes to our mind is the Jagannath Rath Yatra.
And when we talk of Jagannath Rath Yatra, the first thing that comes to our mind is the three wooden chariots which carry the three deities i.e., Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Subhadra Devi from the Jagannath Temple (Srimandira) to the Gundicha Temple during the annual Rath Yatra.
These three chariots resembling the towering temple-structure are newly made every year.
It’s a labor of love for around 200 carpenters, helpers, blacksmiths, tailors, and painters who work tirelessly for 58 days at the Mahakhala (in front of the King’s palace) .
Over thousand pieces of wooden logs are brought from Dasapalla and Ranpur forests.
The construction work commences on the Akshya Trutiya.
Each chariot is covered with new cloths of radiant color; nearly 1090 meters of cloth are used purpose.
Each chariot is fastened with four long ropes manufactured from coconut fibers to facilitate the devotees to pull them.
Iron nails, brackets, clamps, etc. used for this purpose are indigenously prepared by the native smiths.
The chariot’s super structure (above the wheels) contains eighteen pillars and roofs at various stages which are known as bhuin, potala, parabhadi, etc. The chariot making process is complicated and there are 34 components of each chariot.
Each chariot contains nine subsidiary deities (Parswa Devatas), two door keepers (Dwarapalas), one Charioteer (Sarathi) and one deity for the top flag (Dhwaja Devata), all made of wood.
Making of the Chariots for Rath Yatra : Photos & Videos