ibnlive » India

Jul 03, 2008 at 02:17am IST

Craftsmen make Jagnnath rath minus measures

Puri: Puri's Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra is just round the corner and it's time to construct the three traditional chariots of Lord Jagannath. The work begins at least two months ahead on the 'Akshaya truitya' day.

Among the 150 odd carpenters and helpers who are working round the clock to create these marvels, is Vijay Mahapatra, a music teacher by profession, helps make the chariots and the craftsmen do so without using any scales or measuring instruments.

Vijay just uses his hands and fingers for measurement.

"We have got used to making the raths and we make no mistakes even without the help of any scales for measurement," says he.

Among the three, the chariot of Lord Jagannath called Nandighosha is the tallest and is 13.5 metres high with 16 wheels. Around 50 odd painters are involved to paint the raths with various arts depicting Orissa culture. And around 20 tailors are involved to stitch the sacred cloth that are wrapped round the chariots.

Since every year the raths are newly made, the Forest Department of Orissa finds it hard to provide the special wood. But this time, the devotees are willing to donate the required timber.

Says Working President, Sri Jagannath Temple Management Committee, Suresh Chandra Mahapatra, "We have registered around 1,800 people who volunteer to provide the wood."

On the Rath Yatra day, lakhs of devotees pull these chariots and even a small flaw in manufacture can lead to a huge disaster. But thanks to the great architectural skills of the carpenters, such a mishap never takes place.

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