Rath Yatra: Getting as close as possible

Jul 11, 2013, 02:09 IST | A Correspondent

In order to give it a more authentic feel, workers constructing the rath to be used during Kharghar Rath Yatra are working hard to replicate the original used in Puri

Replicating the rath yatra of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra at Puri, workers at Kharghar worked extra hard to ensure that this year they do something special for the 8th anniversary celebrations of the procession.

Splash of colours: Workers can be seen decorating the rath for the 8th anniversary celebrations of the procession

The yatra is organised by Jai Jagannath Lok Taran Trust in Kharghar each year. This year, the MiD DAY team decided to go behind the scenes to see what goes into the making of the rath and the amount of work put in for the preparations of the yatra that will kick off from Kharghar today.

On July 9 MiD DAY saw workers hard at work to enhance each aspect of the rath, which was being decorated intricately. Extreme care was taken to give each part an authentic feel and to make it look like the one in Puri.

Devoted artist: Since the last five years Akshay Beuria has been coming all the way from Puri temple to decorate the rath. Pics/Atul Kamble

Akshay Beuria, who paints the deities for the actual rath yatra helped the local artists this year for the Kharghar procession. He told MiD DAY that the experience was like no other and it was tough maintaining the authenticity of the grand Puri celebrations.

Hanif Ismail Kacchi, who has been decorating the rath for the last eight years, said that although now he’s become more experienced, each year is different from the other and this year will see some exciting decorations.

Ornate: Hanif Ismail Kacchi can be seen decorating the rath

Kacchi, who runs a business of preparing bullock cartwheels in Panvel, said that working on the rath was nothing similar to his routine work of making cartwheels as this year the rath is 25-feet-high and he had to work for 40 days along with his two brothers and a co-worker.

Each year the designers try to make the rath different from the previous year and try to incorporate new ideas. The number of people expected to witness the yatra this year may cross 50,000.

Satyabrata Pattnaik, one of the main organisers, said, “Many Odiya and non-Odiya people in Navi Mumbai and Mumbai attend the function. The response over the years has been good and this year we expect it to be no different.” 

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