The construction of chariots for the world famous 'Rath Yatra' of Lord Jagannath in Odisha is in full swing. The festival will be observed on June 25 (Sunday).
Around 200 carpenters, helpers, painters, tailors and blacksmiths have been working tirelessly to construct three holy chariots of Lord Jagannath within a deadline of 58 days.
The holy chariots are constructed every year. The craftsmen do not follow any written instruction to construct the chariot. The art of creating a chariot is passed from one generation to another.
The process of construction takes place at various levels. First, the state government supplies wooden logs free of cost, then, at the second stage, the construction of the chariots commences on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya, and in the last stage, the chariots are painted and decorated.
"We are watching the construction of chariots for the first time. We have seen this on television before this" said a visitor.
Every year over thousands of devotees gathers in Puri to celebrate this festival.
"We are very happy that we got the opportunity to see these chariots this year," said another devotee.
In the Jagannath Rath Yatra, three chariots are constructed every year for Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Lord Balabhadra and their younger sister Subhadra. The festival commences at the Gundicha Temple via the Mausi Maa Temple near Balagandi Chaka in Puri.