The pata chitras mainly have the designs of Sri Jagannath, Balabhadra and
Subhadra, the three deities. Every year, after the Snanotsav (bathing
ceremony), the deities reside in a secluded chamber called Ansara
Ghar till the Rath Yatra, which is depicted here in full splendor. The
chariots, as much as the idols are entirely crafted in wood. The three
cars housing the deities are fixed with sturdy ropes,
which are helpful to devotees pulling the monumental rathas. The annual rath
yatra is accompanied by celebrations and rituals. The drum and cymbal
players in the foreground beat them to the tune of devotional singing. The
brahmins and pujaris of the temple sit atop the chariots distributing
'prasadam' and blessing the general public.
The entire composition is teeming with people, giving the artist choice of
various colours, costumes, facial features and postures. The sky, instead of
providing spatial relief to the composition, adds to the clutter; various
birds and clouds vie with the fluttering flags at the top of the chariots
for prominence in the expanse above.
This description by Kiranjyot.
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