Chariots ready to roll in Tulasi Khetra

Kendrapara: As millions of people across the world get ready to witness the Chariot Festival of Lord Jagannath beginning tomorrow, it’s not just in the pilgrim town of Puri but the festivities are also set to begin with full religious fervour across the State and beyond.

One of the most illustrious places where this festival is celebrated with much pomp and show is Tulasi Khetra (Ichhapur), Kendrapara where the presiding deity of Baladev Jew along with Lord Jagannath and Devi Subhadra embark on an annual sojourn to Mausi Maa temple on Brahma Taladhwaja Rath.

The Rath Yatra celebrated here is quite unique in several aspects. Unlike Puri, the Rath Yatra in Kendrapara is celebrated for two days and deities are taken on a single chariot for their annual sojourn. The 65-feet tall chariot is made up of 1,223 pieces of wood and has 14 wheels.

With just a day before the commencement of the festival, as preparations for the occasion have reached last stages, the temple administration has made elaborate arrangements for smooth conduct of the festival.

The district administration has assured to ensure provisions of clean drinking water, uninterrupted electricity connection for smooth completion of all rituals from Gundicha to Bahuda Yatra.

Apart from local Municipal authorities who have geared up to maintain cleanliness in the area during the festival, the district police has also made extensive arrangements for traffic and crowd control during the puling of chariots.

Not just Kendrapara, last-phase preparations for the festivities are in full swing at other places where this festival holds special significance like in Baripada where the pulling of chariots will begin a day after Puri Rath Yatra, Sabari Khetra Koraput, Ditiya Shree Khetra Ranpur.