Close to Narendra Tank, a small Ganesha image exists in ‘Ganesha Guruja Jaga’ even now which is known as Chara Ganesha and is indicative of the fact that the scaffolding to carry big stone slabs for the construction of the Great temple started from this place. Hindu tradition confirms that in the beginning of every auspicious work, Ganesha who is known as Siddhidata (a deity granting success) has to be worshiped.
It appeals to reason that in a sandy tract like Puri where massive stones are a rare building material, they must have been brought in water route (either through Mahanadi or through Chilika) to Narendra tank from where these stones were taken to the temple construction site through a scaffold which is called Chara in Oriya. As a scaffold or Chara is usually made of seasoned palm wood and it is still used in chariots during Car Festival to enable the heavy idols to be raised from the ground to the platform on the chariots. In earlier days there was a big door near Chara Ganesha known as ‘Bada Duara‘.
Santosh Kumar Rath is a Research Scholar in the
Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and
Archaeology, Utkal Univesity, Bhubaneswar.