For the first time in the history of rath yatra in Sabara Srikhetra, Koraput that “Dahukas” are likely to use tribal language in addition to Odia to encourage devotees to pull the chariot of Mahaparabhu Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra this year. This was suggested by Nrusinghananda Panigrahy, a member of the preparatory meeting of the car festival in the premises of the Jagannath temple here and was considered by the committee.
If this comes up it would add one more feather in the cap to the festival which is dedicated to tribals here. It may be noted that the car festival is unique in Koraput, as it is a tribal village head who does the “Chera pahara,” (the sweeping on the chariot) and it is the offering by tribals that is given to the deities on the Chariot before any other devotee . In the audience too it is more than 70 per cent tribal population who come from ar off places.
The “chera parhar”a at Puri is done by the Maharaja of Puri, but here it is a tribal who performs the ritual. The meeting which was presided over by Jaykumar V, the district collector who is also the acting president of temple committee discussed on issues like the traffic management during the festival and repair of important roads in the town especially on which the chariot would be pulled by people. In an important move, the committee has taken a decision to make the festival polythene free.
The collector asked the shops and hotels not to serve water in polythene packets to the people coming from various places. Jagabandhu Samal, secretary of the temple read out the different events and their requirements therein to make the nine-day long festival that is to begin on 6 July a success.