Home STATE Bhubaneswar celebrates Ashokastami as Rukuna Rath rolls

Bhubaneswar celebrates Ashokastami as Rukuna Rath rolls


Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Bhubaneswar, April 7 :

Thousands of devotees defied heat and humidity to take part in the famous Rukuna Rath Yatra of Lord Lingagraj, the presiding deity of Odisha’s capital city on Monday on the occasion of Ashokastami.Rukuna Rath

The Mangal Alati and other rituals associated with this auspicious occasion had begun at 4 am at the 11 th century Lingaraj temple followed by Sahan Mela Darshan.

The bronze statues of three deities-Chandrashekhar, Rukmini and Basudev were brought to the 35-feet high chariot in style amid wild cheers, beating of drums and gongs, blowing of conch shells and chant of hymns around 12.30 pm before the chariot started rolling towards the to Rameswar temple (also known as Mausi Maa Temple) where the deities would rest for 4 days.

The Chariot, however, stopped at Badheibanka Chhak and will be pulled to its destination on Tuesday afternoon.

The uniqueness of Rukuna Rath or chariot is that it never takes a turn like the chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra in Puri and that explains why it is called “ana- leuta” or something which never takes a turn.

When this chariot returns on the fifth day, after a four-day sojourn at Mausima temple, the chariot is drawn from behind. It is only the  altar on which the deities are place, which changes direction on the day of homecoming.