There are numerous rituals attached to Puri Srimandir. To perform these rituals and festivals of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra, 119 types of servitors are working at the 12th century shrine.
Kamara/Ojha servitors play a significant role in construction of chariots for world-famous annual Rath Yatra. The service of these servitors has been enlisted as ‘OjhaMaharana seva’ at slot-101 in Srimandir Record of Rights (RoR).
A variety of iron fittings, nails, wheel rings and axles are required for construction of three chariots at Rath yard which are prepared by Ojha servitors.
When all the chariots get ready and move from Rath yard to the Lions’ Gate, these servitors fix appliqués on the chariots.
As per tradition, Ojha servitors start chariot construction with ‘saree bandhana’ and offering mahaprasad and coconut (given by the administration) at Dolabedi on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya.
The servitors provide three axes on this day to start processing of holy logs for chariot construction. All rituals for the chariot construction are solemnised on the premises of Dolabedi. As many as 17 Maharana servitors keep toiling day and night for construction of chariots. The temple administration provides them with iron rods, plates and coal. They make 75 types of iron fittings, clamps, nails and rings for different parts of chariots. Over 1 tonne iron is required to make these fittings.
The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) pays a certain amount to Ojha servitors for their remunerations.
During Rath Yatra, if certain chariot requires any repair, these servitors do the needful in time. During this service, Maharana servitors observe austerity in diet and work under a scorching sun, sitting near the fire pot.
During Anasara rituals, these servitors clean Akhandadweepa and other brass items in Srimandira.