For the first time in north Bengal, the ISKCON Temple in Siliguri is set to introduce three separate ‘hydraulic’ raths (chariot) during the ‘Rath Yatra Utsav’ scheduled to be held tomorrow in Siliguri. Three richly-decorated chariots, resembling temple structures, will be pulled through the streets unlike previous years, where the deities Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra are traditionally installed on huge chariots. Moreover, the three chariots are equipped with a hydraulic system, the organisers of the event said.

“The hydraulic system is equipped in each chariot so that the overhead tangled wires across the streets of Siliguri do not restrict the chariots from travelling and damage the chariot. We will operate the chariot with a remote controller where we can lower the height of the chariot (canopies) when they are obstructed by the overhead wires or cables,” said Akhil Atmapriya Das, the president of the Siliguri ISKCON Temple.

“Unlike previous years where all the deities are installed on one chariot, this year we have a separate 16- wheel chariot for Lord Jagannath, called Nandighosh, and Lord Baladeva will sit on a 14- wheel chariot called Taladhwaja and Subhadra Maharani will sit on a 12-wheel chariot named Darpadalana,” he added.

Nam Krishna Das, the coordinator of the Siliguri ISKCON temple said, “The preparations are over and we are trying to create an atmosphere of the Puri Rath Yatra.”

Hindus celebrate the Rath Yatra festival every year on the auspicious day of Ashadh Sud-2. Though this festival is celebrated all over India, it originated in Puri, Odisha on the eastern coast.