Parameshwar Raju’s calligraphy on Ratha Yatra celebrations in Puri

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Poosapati Parameshwar Raju’s calligraphy is a delight to behold. In simple, swift strokes, the master artist evokes a sense of joy. He conveys cheer through a slight tilt of the figures and a sense of movement in images where he re-imagines devotees dancing during Rath Yatra, complete with drum beats.  Lore and legends at Puri 

At Ailamma art gallery, on display are 45 works that take us on a journey leading up to Jagannath’s Rath Yatra celebrations at Puri.

Parameshwar Raju researched extensively for this series, poring over texts and available visual imagery. He remembers visiting Jagannath temple at Puri several times as a child; his grandmother and great grandmother hailed from Daspalla and were involved with the temple festivities. “It was fascinating, as a child, to look at the large deities,” he recalls.

Raju draws attention to how craftsmen and chitrakars (artists) build new chariots and paint patachitras each year. Semi circles denote large chariot wheels in the making and comparatively tiny men are at work, driving nails into the larger structure. Chitrakars create patachitra representation of the three idols; this is placed at the ‘garbha gudi’ (sanctum sanctorum) while the idols undergo an elaborate Snana yatra.

Raju draws attention to how craftsmen and chitrakars (artists) build new chariots and paint patachitras each year. Semi circles denote large chariot wheels in the making and comparatively tiny men are at work, driving nails into the larger structure. Chitrakars create patachitra representation of the three idols; this is placed at the ‘garbha gudi’ (sanctum sanctorum) while the idols undergo an elaborate Snana yatra.

(The triad: The curator’s statement throws light on the unique form of the triad. “The top of the three idols together symbolises Brahmanda or cosmic egg. This form is suggested as the Trinity. If we divide the egg breadthwise into three parts, we get two semi oval on two extremities and an oval in the middle. The Trinity are the first manifestations of existence and each of the trio represents an active principle — Prakriti, Purusha and Kala. The oval is Prakriti or Subhadra and the two semi oval forms are that of Jagannath and Balabhadra. They represent the three Gunas. The association of the trio with the Gunas lead us to the active principles of creation,” explains Koeli.)



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