Wooden chariots being prepared for 'Chariot Festival'

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Bhubaneswar, July 10 (ANI): Preparations are in full swing in Orissa's Puri city to construct three wooden chariots of Lord Jagannath for the annual Rath Yatra or Chariot Festival.

Skilled craftsmen are working hard to put together giant three wooden chariots for the festival, which begins on July 13.

The chariots are made entirely of wood and are more than two meters in diameter and weigh tens of tones. The chariots are newly constructed every year.

"We have been doing this work since generations. This is a work of God and it feels good to do this," said Bijay Mohapatra, a carpenter.

More than 1,000 different trees, including Phasi, Asana, Dharua, Simili, Mahalima, Kadamba, Moi, Kalachua, Paldhua, Devadaru, are cut every year to build the chariots.

"The wheels of the chariot are made by Phasi wood and Asana, Dharua wood are used to make the main body. They are 40 feet, 20 feet, 12 feet long. We get the wood from different forest divisions," said Ramchandra Das Mohapatra, a worker.

The construction of the chariots is completed in about 60 days.

"Lord Jagannath is not only the lord of Orissa, it is the lord of the universe. So since it is the Lord of the universe, it is also my lord. And since it is also my Lord, I can do some seva (work) for him," said Frederick, a foreign tourist.

The chariots are newly constructed every year and more than 1000 meters of new decorative cloth is used to cover each of the chariots. (ANI)

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