- Two wheels of one of the raths were found defective and the axle had to be replaced
- After the building of chariots is over, ornamentation work will begin
- For the last two years, entry for the Rath Yatra in Puri was severely restricted due to COVID
Puri Rath Yatra festival will commence on July 1 and Vishwakarmas are presently busy building three large chariots for it. Before the festival begins on June 14, Snan Yatra Mahotsav will take place, during which the three main idols, Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra will be bathed with 108 pots of sacred water. Soon after, the three idols will remain incommunicado to the public and will appear for the Rath Yatra on July 1.
New chariots are constructed for the festival
Two wheels of Nandighosh rath of Lord Jagannath were found defective and the axle had to be replaced, after engineers from Works department and Indian Railways came and inspected the wheels. Construction of the lower floors of all the three raths began on Sunday.
There are 21 axles for the three chariots. Nandighosha chariot will have 8 axles for 16 wheels, Taladhwaja rath of Lord Balbhadra will have 7 axles with 14 wheels, and Darpa Dalana Rath of Goddess Subhadra will have 6 axles with 12 wheels, all made of wood and iron.
Work on decorating Rath Yatra to follow
After the building of chariots is over, ornamentation work will begin, and the entire work will be over by June 25. Lord Jagannath’s chariot will be 36 feet high compared to 20 feet height last year. The square-shaped chariot will be 26 feet long and 26 feet wide. Each wheel measures four feet in height.
Rath Yatra makes a full-fledged comeback after COVID
For the last two years, entry for the Rath Yatra in Puri was severely restricted due to the Covid pandemic. But it is expected that the district administration may remove all restrictions this year on the number of devotees who will pull the chariots.