Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the annual car festival of Lord Lingaraj, known as the Rukuna Rath Yatra, on the occasion of Ashokashtami on April 13, preparations for the mega event are in full swing.

As per sources, as many as 70 carpenters have been appointed for the chariot construction work. Four new Nahakas and two new Oras will be constructed this year. The wheels of the chariots will be constructed in the first phase, said sources.

"After constructing four Nahakas and two Oras, we will conduct a 'pooja' following which they will be mounted on to a 'bhadi.' We are using various types of wood for construction of the chariots," said Akhil Kumar Maharana, a servitor engaged in construction of the chariots.

"As per our commitment to the administration, we will complete the chariot construction works a day before of Ashokashtami," added Maharana.

Every year on the auspicious occasion of Ashokashtami, Lord Lingaraj travels in Rukuna Rath to Mausima temple and the event is celebrated with fervour.