Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, May 16:
While work on construction of the wheels for the chariots of the deities for the Rath Yatra in Odisha’s holy town of Puri this July is going apace, timber for 12 out of the 42 wheels needed for the three chariots is yet to arrive.
The three chariots of Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra have 42 wheels in total. Timber needed for construction of ara and pai (parts of the wheels) for 30 out of the 42 wheels have arrived at the ratha khala (place where chariots are built).
While 22 out of the 30 wheels are in the final stages of completion, the remaining eight will be completed in two to three days, sources said. Wood for the construction of the 12 wheels is yet to reach the ratha khala. In the event of non-availability of requisite wood used for construction of pai (semi-circular wooden blocks used at the fringe of the chariot wheel) these wheels cannot be completed, the sources added.
Bhoi sevaks have informed that making of tumbas (wooden blocks at the centre of a chariot wheel as in bullock cart wheels) of the 30 wheels have been completed and necessary wood for making of ara (side of the chariot wheel) and pai have been provided to the Biswakarma (carpenter) servitors. Wood to be used for making of pai for the 12 wheels will be made available to the Biswakarmas as soon as it arrives at the ratha khala, they said.
Last week too, there was shortage of wood for making of pai for the wheels. It was delivered to the Biswakarmas on Wednesday after sized wood arrived at the ratha khala from the Forest department’s saw mill at Cuttack.
The 30 wheels are expected to be completed within next three days.
After connecting axles to all the wheels, preparations for construction of pokharias of the chariots will take place.
Currently, the making of 12 niradis for the three chariots is in progress since Thursday after Bhoi sevayats supplied dhaura timber to the Biswakarma sevayats.