Suryakant Jena

Puri: With just a few days left for Rath Yatra, lakhs of people across the world are getting ready for the mega festival in Puri. On this special occasion, as the Holy Trinity will embark on an annual sojourn to the temple of Mausi Maa, there are some families who have defined the true meaning of love and devotion with their services to Lord Jagannath. And only because of their dedicated efforts, the aesthetic value of the chariot festival has enhanced.

One such family is of Rajkishore Nayak's, who have been preparing beautiful artificial flowers made of thermocol for decoration on the three chariots during Rath Yatra.

As per rituals, Raj Kishore’s family members, residents of Khurda, begin preparations for flower designing from the day of Akshay Tritiya and complete all works by the end of Anasara period of the Holy Trinity. On the day of Netra Utsav, Raj Kishore himself decorates all the three chariots with numerous flowers made in the shape of Sebati and Kadamba.

After getting permission for decoration in the three chariots in 2003, Rajkishore’s family has been sincerely carrying out this responsibility for free.

“We feel humbled that we have dedicated ourselves for the service of the God. We will continue to serve Lord Jagannath till our last breath,” Raj Kishore said.

Similarly, there is another family which credits itself for weaving one of the most beautiful adornments of Lord Jagannath, the Khandua Pata (special cloth worn by the Holy Trinity). The family of Trilochan Das, a resident of Athagarh area in Cuttack, has earned the distinction of weaving the special clothes for generations. From Snana Yatra to Anabasara, Ghosa Yatra to Niladri Bije, Trilochan’s family provides Khandua Pata for the Lords on every special occasion.

On the responsibility to serve the Holy Trinity, Trilochan said, “Designing Khandua for Lord Jagannath has become a part of our lives and as far as I remember, my father used to do it and now I am also inspiring my successor to take up this important duty to serve the God.”