Odisha: Rath work begins, Chandan Yatra kicks off

On their arrival, the deities were smeared with sandalwood paste and bathed in aromatic water.
Timber logs being consecrated before commencement of chariot construction work
Timber logs being consecrated before commencement of chariot construction workPhoto | Express

PURI: Construction of chariots for the annual Rath Yatra of the Trinity commenced on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya on Friday.

As per tradition, Srimandir servitors brought the ‘agyanmallyas’ of the Trinity and handed over those to the three Biswakarmas (carpenters) to initiate the process of chariot construction. The ritual began with performance of ‘Homa’ (yajna) after which the Biswakarmas were accorded ceremonial head gears by the temple administration to begin the construction work.

Earlier on Ram Navami, the wooden logs selected for construction of the chariots were consecrated by the temple priests. Meanwhile, the occasion also marked the beginning of Chandan Yatra, the 21-day annual water sports festival of the Trinity in the evening.

Madan Mohan, the representative idol of Lord Jagannath, his consort Goddess Lakshmi and Panch Mahadevas believed to be the incarnation of the Panch Pandavas, began their pleasure trip along the Bada Danda (Grand Road) in six separate palanquins from the Shree Jagannath temple to Narendra Pokhari situated around 1.5 km from the shrine.

On their arrival, the deities were smeared with sandalwood paste and bathed in aromatic water. The deities were then taken in a procession to their respective boats, Nanda and Bhadra, shaped as giant swans, to enjoy a ride across the pond. The deities were later brought back to the temple.

Bhitara Ratna Bhandar to be opened during Rath Yatra

The committee formed by the state government to open the Srimandir Bhitara Ratna Bhandar has decided to open the inner chamber of the temple treasury during Rath Yatra which is scheduled to begin on July 7 and continue till July 15.

In its second meeting held on Thursday, the committee headed by former Supreme Court Justice Arijit Pashayat also discussed the modalities for opening the treasury. As per the decision taken at the meeting, the committee will make a fresh inventory of the wealth of the deities and compare it with the list made in 1978. Opening of the treasury and enumeration of the wealth will be undertaken under CCTV surveillance for transparency.

Sources said the committee will finalise the date of opening of the temple treasury in its next meeting.

Among others, chief administrator of the temple Vir Vikram Yadav, former chairperson of Allahabad Bank Bidhubhusan Samal, ASI superintendent DB Garnaik and temple treasurer Jagannath Kar were present.

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