Published on 2 Jul 2019 in OrissaPOST Every year for the Ratha Jatra, three huge rathas or chariots are made by artisans in Puri. While being huge structures that must be capable of supporting several people at once, the rathas are also spectacular pieces of traditional art, combining multiple branches of craftsmanship into a harmonious whole. […]
Published on 7 Jun 2019 in OrissaPOST One of the most fascinating poems in Odia is the 14th-century ‘Kalasa Chautisa’ of Bachha Dasa. Among the oldest extant texts in the language, it presents a farcical picture of the wedding of Shiva and Parvati. Minutes before Parvati’s wedding, her friends come rushing to her chamber — their […]
The fisherfolk of Odisha and why they dance wearing horse-costumes in their ritual annual festival.
The ancient poetesses of Odisha— from queens to dombis— wonderful women who talk about everything from philosophy, devotion, culture to romance, warfare, society.
The sudden changes in the Puri temple’s aesthetic decisions bother me. This is why.
Three autumn legends from Odisha.
On the night of Janmastami, Jagannatha is the mother and Jagannatha is the son. This is a deeper look at this curious ritual.
Jagannatha might be the ideal deity for millions of his devotees around the globe, but his one wife is not too impressed. The divine husband and wife have a heated argument after the Ratha Jatra.
A concise introduction to what the world famous Ratha Jatra of the Jagannatha Temple is all about.
What happens in the empty chambers of the Jagannatha temple when the deities are away for the Ratha Jatra? An ancient legend explores this question.
Jagannatha has a brother, a sister, two wives, an uncle and an aunt; but no father or mother. All about the Odia gods and their elaborate families in local belief.
Answers to some questions about Ratha Jatra.
Jagannatha bathes only once an year, and immediately afterwards, falls sick with fever. He lives inside a secret chamber. What actually happens inside nobody knows exactly.
On the full moon day of the month of Jyestha, something peculiar happens – a god falls ill. For the 15 days of his sickness, a painting substitutes him. Therein lies the origin of the ancient Pattachitra art of Odisha.
It was when the King Nrupa Keshari ruled over ancient Odisha. Historians think that the years are 852–857. Karama, the old Marathi woman lived in one of Puri’s mutts. It had been a long time since she’d been there. She had come to Puri to search for her missing husband and look at Jagannatha, but hadn’t […]
A pangram is a sentence containing all the letters of the language it is written in. I tried making one in Odia.
I recently came across a book called ‘The Wesleyan Juvenile Offering’. Multiple editions of this book are on Google Books, in case you would like to have a look. Curiously, there’s a bit about Jagannatha and the Dola Jatra of Puri. Without further ado, here’s what he says. Note that the author hasn’t actually said anything […]
Jagannatha has many Besas (special attires), somewhere around thirty. Some of them are done on a daily basis. Others are done on a special day each year. Yet others are done based on specific astronomical conjunctions- in which case the Besa may be done every five years or every ten years. By this point, we have only three […]
At half an hour’s distance from Puri is the town of Satyabadi, dense with Bakula trees. Almost a decade ago, Shilpa Shetty had landed in trouble here. A century ago, a school established in these forests revolutionised Odisha’s education scenario. A few millenia ago, a temple built here gave the place its identity. The quite […]
The mystic Bira Singha and his metaphorical chautisa.