The Jagannath Temple administration in Puri has decided to make a fresh appeal to devotees to purchase several parts of chariots, which have so far remained unsold. In March 2013, the shrine administration had hit upon the novel concept of selling decorative parts of the chariots to jack up the shrine’s income.
“Some of the portions of chariots, dismantled after 2012 and 2013 car festivals are left unsold. We will shortly float expressssion of interest, asking devotees to bid more than the base price,” temple’s spokesperson Laxmidhar Pujapanda said.
The base price of each wheel is Rs 50,000. Out of total 84 wheels (42 wheels each of 2012 and 2013 car festivals), only 42 were put up for sale. “Out of the 42 wheels, 21 have fetched nearly Rs 12 lakh,” Pujapanda said. A wheel of Lord Jagannath’s Nandighosh chariot went for sale at a staggering Rs 5 lakh.
Similarly, upset price of other decorative parts like Guja and Ashuari has been fixed at Rs 10,000 and while that of Prabha is Rs 25,000. “We have sold 14 of the Gujas for nearly Rs 1.52 lakh. Eight of 31 Ashuari pieces was sold for Rs 88888 and one out of three Prabhas was sold for Rs 49,000,” Pujapanda said.
Earlier the dismantled chariot was used as firewood in the shrine kitchen, touted as one of the biggest temple kitchens in the country. The temple authorities have urged the buyers not to resale or misuse the sacred chariot parts.
Every year, the Odisha government supplies a whopping 13,000 cubic feet wood worth over Rs 65 lakh for construction of three chariots for the millennia-old Rath Yatra. Not less than 1,000 trees of different species are felled for the purpose of making the chariots. The temple receives nearly 810 pieces of logs from the Nayagarh and Khurda forest divisions for the chariots. Non-sal logs like asana, dhaura, phasi, mahi and simili are largely used for the chariot making. The carpenters construct 45 feet high Taladhwaja chariot for lord Balabhadra, 45.6 ft Nandighosh chariot for lord Jagannath and 44. 6 ft high chariot Devidalan for SubhadraRath Yatra Puri Jagannath Temple Administration jagannath