Ratha Park will enable people to experience Rathyatra

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The proposed Ratha Park will enable people to experience the festival and its rituals since it will be open to tourists and public throughout the year. | EPS

To showcase the famous Rath Yatra and Jagannath culture to a global audience throughout the year, an Odisha-based hospitality company has proposed to develop a “Ratha Park” at Puri.

According to Dalma Comforts and Entertainment Company Pvt Ltd which has proposed the park, though the nine-day festival and the rituals preceding and succeeding it attracts about five million people from across India and abroad, it is only those who visit Puri experience the thrill and excitement. The rest cannot visualise the grandeur, religious ambience and environment.

The proposed Ratha Park will enable people to experience the festival and its rituals since it will be open to tourists and public throughout the year. It will not only open up the understanding of the 12th century shrine and the festival, it will be a great platform to popularise Jagannath culture, Director of the company Debashis Patnaik, in a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.

The Ratha Park will have four sections and the most important one will be the dome where the three chariots of the deities will be stationed in an air-conditioned setting. The company has proposed that original chariots will be donated for the purpose. Escalators will be installed for visitors to go round and even climb the chariots while observation galleries will be created too. However, no idol will be installed nor will any ritual performed.

The park will have three theatres and auditoriums where videos and films on Jagannath culture will be screened. Each will have sitting capacity ranging from 40 to 75. While the 2D theatre will play videos and films on Rath Yatra and other cultural themes, the 3D and 4D will give a real feel of the atmosphere. Other than that, there will be a museum with galleries on various traditions. There will also be an amphi-theatre where light and sound shows, Odissi and Gotipua presentations will be made.

Patnaik said initial discussion with technical experts and manufacturers from Singapore, South Korea and Japan has been held. The company would like association of Government of Odisha and Jagannath temple administration in the project, he added. The company has sought 10 acres of land on long term lease basis for the project.

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