Bhubaneswar: Gold stores are all set to welcome customers with grand offers while Puri temple servitors are busy preparing for the first important ritual towards Rath Yatra on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya that will be celebrated on Saturday.
Believed to be one of the most auspicious days of the year, Akshay Tritiya is the day of Ratha Anukula when the logs of wood to make the three chariots for Rath Yatra are consecrated and the carpenters begin their initial work after a series of rituals and special ceremonies.
Puri Ratha Anukula:
“The three 12 feet logs of ‘soura katha’ have already been procured. They will be brought to the ‘Ratha Khala’ area near the Jagannath temple where the construction work of chariots will begin after getting the garland of permission or ‘aagyan mala’ from the deities of the temple followed by special rituals conducted by the temple priests,” said Laxmidhar Pujapanda, the information officer of the Jagannath temple. The chariot making will then continue till Rath Yatra.
Another major event in Puri that begins on Akshay Tritiya is the Chandan Yatra. During this 21 day long summer festival of Lord Jagannath, the representative deity Madan Mohan along with consorts Sridevi, Bhudevi the Panch Mahadevs (also known as Panch Pandavas) namely Lord Yameswar, Lord Kapal Mochan, Lord Lokanath, Lord Markandeya and Lord Nilakanth make a trip on a chapa (a traditional boat) around the ancient Narendra tank as part of the water sport called ‘chapa khela’. This is hosted in two sessions: during the day and then at night.
Traditions in villages:
The festival is observed in different ways across the state. In some villages, ‘Ghadi Patuli’ or a pot of sweet meats is distributed to children in the neighbourhood for the welfare, good health and good fortune of the family. Temples and mathas in many parts of the state organise mass public feast of bhoga or food offered to Gods and Goddeses. The day is also celebrated as Lord Parsuram’s birthday. Farmers worship Mother Earth for a good harvest on Akshay Tritiya. and sow seeds ceremonially in what is called Muthi Chhuan or Muthi Anukula or Akhi Mutha.
Gold rush in cities:
People in cities can be seen can be seen buying property, gold or new utensils on the occasion since it is considered fortunate. Jewellery stores are offering attractive offers and discounts to woo customers for Akshay Tritiya.