For many of the thousands who flock to Puri for the Rath Yatra every year, a juggernaut is set to roll closer home this year – in Malda town. The look of the chariot would be similar to the one in Puri, which is world famous.
A team of artisans from the land of Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra have been assigned by Malda Hansgiri Lane Nat Mandir Sanstha, the organising body, to design Malda’s own show-stopper ride. In Puri, this year, Lords Jagannath, Balaram and Goddess Subhadra would be presented in Nabakalebar (new avatar); the same would be done in Malda. Six artisans from Puri have cast the new deities in line with the Nabakalebar tradition. The idols have been crafted from segun and sal wood.
The priests and ceremonial offerings to the deities have been sourced from Puri, too.
Priests Jagannath Mishra and Bhagaban Mishra from Puri would officiate at the puja. According to Jagannath Mishra, members of the organising body got in touch with them and requested them to conduct the puja this year; and that they were glad to be there.
Pua-r Bhog would be distributed among disciples on the day of Sojarath (July 18) and Anna Bhog, on the occasion of Ultarath (seven days later).
The chariot would roll out at Karkhana in Ward 13 of Malda Town and reach the journey’s end at Jubilee Road. While this Rath Yatra in Malda goes back years, the patrons this year, wanted to design an exact replica of the chariot that rolls out of the Jagannath Temple in Puri. This Yatra was started 15 years ago on the initiative of Sandhya Devi.
The organisers expect thousands to throng the streets on the day of Rath Yatra. And seeing the sense of near-breathless anticipation centring on the grand carnival that has gripped the locals, the Rath Yatra is no doubt going to be a huge success. Let the juggernaut roll!
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