Rath Yatra 2018: Chariots will be ready before time: Maharana Sebaka

Puri: With almost a week to go for the very famous Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, Odishatv.in team has reached Puri to take a stock of the preparations before the grand festival.

Our news team reached the ‘Ratha Khala’ or the chariot construction yard and spoke to the Mukhya Maharana Sebaka or Chief constructor of Lord Jagannath’s chariot- ‘Nandighosa,’ Bijay Mahapatra to know more about the making of the three chariots prior to the grand occasion of Sri Gundicha. Here are the excerpts of the interview….

 

  • Process of chariot construction

The construction of three chariots is on in full swing. It started from the auspicious day of ‘Akshay Tritiya.’ We got the ‘Aagyan Maala’ (Permission Garland) from the Lord on ‘Akshay Tritiya’ and started the construction work. The chariot construction work has reached the final stage now. Vishwakarma-Maharana, Bhoi Sebaka, Rupakara Sebaka, Darji Sebaka, Kamaara Sebaka are working hard to get the chariots ready before the festival.

  • Role of different Sebayats in chariot construction

Maharanas are basically the carpenters involved in wood work. Kamaara Sebakas do all the jobs related to iron and nails. Chitrakara Sebakas do painting on the cloths. Rupakara Sebakas do the engraving on the wood. Karti Sebayatas kick off the Rath construction by cutting the wood logs.

 

  • Personal experience being a Maharana Sebaka

I first started this work when I was only 12. No particular measurements are used in chariot construction. Our measurement is only by hands and fingers which no one else can understand. After my father’s demise, I have taken care of this work as the Mukhya Maharana of ‘Nandighosa’. We wait eagerly for ‘Akshay Tritiya’ after Rath Yatra every year, so that we can start the chariot construction and resume our duty for Lord Jagannath.