The chariot of Jagannath Dev of Puri was cut with a golden axe
There are many legends associated with Puri Rath Yatra. Rath Yatra is celebrated in many other places now. Yet the greatness of Punyabhoomi Puri is unique. According to the rules, every year Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra are taken down 22 stairs or steps.
Which is called 'Vaishi Panhcha'. Every step of this 'Vaishi Panhcha' from Puri Temple's Singha Door to Kurmbera is made of Khondalite stone. This place is considered very holy by the devotees. There are so many customs surrounding the chariot.
The name of Jagannathdev's chariot is 'Nandighosh'. The name of the charioteer is Daruk. The chariot has 16 wheels. The wheel circumference is 6 feet 6 inches. It is said that this chariot was named by Indra himself. This chariot is constructed with a total of 832 pieces of wood of small and large sizes. The height of Jagannath Dev's chariot is thirteen and a half meters i.e. 45 feet. Balarama's chariot is called Taldhvaja. Subhadra's chariot is called Devdlan or Padmadhvaja.
The artisans also stay there for 2 whole months till the chariot is ready and they also have to follow many rules. The charioteers eat at the same time. They cannot eat non-vegetarian food during this time. They have to eat junk food. During this time, celibacy is mandatory for artisans. If any untoward incident happens to any member of the artisan's family like Sutak or Patak, then that artisan has to withdraw from the task of making chariots.
The work of preparing the chariot for Jagannath Dev's chariot journey begins on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. Wood is brought from the forest to make chariots. The information was sent to the forest department officials by the temple committee. Then the temple priests went to the forest and worshipped that tree. The trunk of that particular tree is cut with a golden axe. This axe is first touched at the feet of the idol of Lord Jagannath.
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