Gania: This year, the forest department in Nayagarh district will provide 785 logs required for the chariot construction of Lord Balabhadra, Lord Jagannath and Goddess Subhadra for the annual Rath Yatra festival in Puri.
Rituals for Ratha anukula ceremony were performed as per tradition as described in Rathasamhita at Maa Badaraula peetha under Gania block in Nayagarh district Tuesday.
Chariot caretaker Sudarshan Mekap, Rathakatha amin Laxman Mohapatra and Bhoi Sardar Rabi Bhoi on behalf of the Srimandir administration took part in the ceremony at Badaraula Peetha early in the morning.
The three-member team along with agyamala, khandua, aharasad, patapatani, mahardha and puja items reached Sri Sri Dadhibaman temple at Bethiasahi.
They first had darshan of the deity there before they were escorted by forest officials to Badaraula Peetha. The team was taken in a procession amid sankirtan by troupes from Nayagarh and Boudh districts.
Nayagarh DFO Khyama Sarangi and Daspalla ranger Nikhilesh Mallick were present at the temple. Amid playing of Dhola and Turi, agni homa (fire ritual) and other rituals were performed at the shrine.
“Agyanmala (divine ordain) was received. Thereafter, trees of asana, fasi and simili species will be chopped off in forests from Wednesday for chariot construction,” an official of the forest department said.
It was learnt that there is need for 865 pieces of timber for chariot construction for this year’s Rath Yatra in Puri.
Nearly 80 logs are in stock at Rath Khala (chariot making yard). The rest 785 logs including 322 asana logs, 388 khandadharua logs, 72 fasi logs and three simili logs — will be provided by the Nayagarh forest division to the temple administration. The trees have been identified.
The temple administration has stated that 363 pieces of timber will be sent to Ratha Khala in Puri while 422 timbers will be sent to the Khapuria sawmill in Cuttack. In the afternoon, Gupta puja was solemnised at Maa Badaraula peetha.
It is pertinent to mention here that erstwhile Nayagarh King Chakradhar Bhanj used to provide logs for Rath Yatra since 1653 from Daspalla area. Since then, this tradition is being followed.
According to the forest department, the tree species meant for chariot construction has been dwindling in Daspalla forest. For the last few years, logs are being provided from both Nayagarh and Boudh forests, it said.