Puri: A controversy has cropped up over the presence of 'Nara Birala' painting on the chariots after the chief carpenter of Nadighosh Ratha (chariot of Lord Jagannath) Bijay Mohapatra questioned the tradition of such image on the chariots.
Nara Birala’ is a mythical creature having a head appearing like humans and other parts of the body like an animal.
Mohapatra said that he had never seen such pictures on the chariots which he claimed anti-tradition.
The Nara Birala painting could be present on anywhere but it should not feature in the chariots, he said.
“I have not seen such image on chariots since my childhood. Even my predecessors also echoed similar sentiments. The Nara Biral image usually doesn’t feature on any of the chariots,” said Mohapatra.
But the Rupakar (traditional painter) servitors claimed to have done the works in previous events. They have done something new this year which is beyond tradition, Mohapatra added.
On the other hand, the Rupakar servitors (painters) sought to dismiss the claim of the chief carpenter. Rupakar Rajendra Mohapatra, who carried out paintings on the chariots said such pictures have been drawn on chariots every year.
“The image of Singha Birala, Nara Birala, and Gaja Birala are painted on all chariots every year. The photographs of previous years may be examined if any doubt on the subject arises,” he said.
Meanwhile, the temple administration geared up to end the controversy in order to take forward the construction works.
The SJTA administrator (development) visited the chariot construction yard and held discussion with the chief carpenter of Nandighosh chariot and painters.