Every year, once the deities are seated atop their chariots on rath yatra, devotees make every effort to connect to the divine siblings by struggling through the crowd of lakhs just to lay their hands once on the ropes of the chariot.
The ropes that play the significant role of communicating the devotion of their followers to the deities are made with utmost care.
According to the tradition, four long and sturdy ropes are attached to each of the three chariots. Two other ropes are kept for emergency purpose.
For the second consecutive year, the Odisha Cooperative Coir Corporation has provided locally made ropes for the chariots. Earlier the ropes were brought from Kerala. The cost of the ropes supplied by the state-run corporation are also less as compared to the ones brought from Kerala.
“The ropes brought from Kerala used to cost around Rs 10 lakh but locally made ropes cost around Rs 5 lakh. The quality is also much better than the previous ones,” said an official of the corporation.
The coir corporation handed over these ropes to the temple administration on June 13.
The rope-making process began on the day of Akshay Tritiya (April 24).
“The people involved in rope-making followed a chaste, vegetarian diet while working since rath yatra is closely associated with the sentiments of millions of people,” said chairman of Odisha Cooperative Coir Corporation, Ramakrushna Das Mohapatra.
He also said that the corporation was also providing ropes to other parts of the country where there are traditions of chariot pulling. The important of ropes does not end with end of the rath yatra. After the festival is over, the ropes will be put to use for various sacred purposes.