Bhubaneswar: On the eve of Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik on Thursday June 30 created 125 sand chariots and a sand sculpture of Lord Jagannath on Puri beach in Odisha.
Pattnaik, who already held the record of creating 100 sand chariots, is now attempting to create another record for the Limca Book of Records by carving out 125 sand chariots on the Puri beach.
Pattnaik along with students of his sand art institute took about 14 hours to complete these sculptures.
Pattnaik said that sand art is believed to have originated during the Rath Yatra in the 16th century, initiated by Balaram Das, a staunch devotee of Jagannath and a famous poet who was once humiliated by servitors and not allowed to pull the chariot during Rath Yatra. He then went to the beach and sculpted chariots on the sand.
Pattnaik also appealed to the people to avoid using single use plastic and keep the environment clean during the Rath Yatra.
Meanwhile, thousands of devotees have started thronging the pilgrim town Puri as the stage is all set for the nine-day Rath Yatra beginning Friday. After a gap of two years owing to the Covid pandemic, devotees are allowed to witness the biggest festival of Odisha this year.
The Singha Dwar (Lion’s Gate) in front of the Jagannath temple was soaked in religious fervour on Thursday as servitors and devotees pulled the three grand chariots from the Ratha Khala (where the chariots were being made) to the main gate of the shrine amid the beating of cymbals and blowing of conches.
The three chariots are now parked in front of the Singha Dwar facing East towards Gundicha temple. They have been kept ready and will be pulled by lakhs of devotees on Friday afternoon.