Villagers chain Lord Jagannath lest he flees | india | Hindustan Times
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Villagers chain Lord Jagannath lest he flees

Residents of a remote village in Orissa stuck on to the local custom and observed Rath Yatra by putting the 'chained' lord atop the chariot fearing that god will leave them if set free.

india Updated: Jun 25, 2009 15:45 IST

Residents of a remote village in Orissa stuck on to the local custom and observed Rath Yatra by putting the 'chained' lord atop the chariot fearing that god will leave them if set free.

Amid much fanfare and religious fervour, the car festival was observed at river side Kakatpur village under Badiha gram panchayat in Kendrapara district on Wednesday.

The village lays claim to fame for the fact people here are still adhering to this unique tradition. Not only the Lord Jagannath was chained, but devotees pulled the single chariot by rope made of iron strings, Ahalya Rout, former sarpanch of Badiha gram panchayat said.

In fact, the idol in the village's Jagannath temple is always tied and an iron string that fastens the god is affixed to the rear portion of the citadel. The apparel covers up the symbol of captivity to give the divinity a dignified look.

"People here are under strong belief that god would disappear from the village once put out of chains. That is why, the chained idol is taken out of the temple in ritualistic procession to be placed on the chariot. The ropes used to pull the chariot are also made of iron," Rout said.