What does it take to make the giant chariots for the Rath Yatra festival in Puri? Around three months, 2,188 pieces of wood, and 125 carpenters. The chariots are newly built every year by a family of carpenters who have hereditary rights to their construction. You can see the works taking place at the front of the royal palace near Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa. A total of 42 wheels are required for the three chariots that transport Lord Jagannath, and his elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra, on their annual visit to their aunt's place.
This year, the Rath Yatra festival gets underway on June 21, 2012. The festival is also celebrated in a big way in Kolkata, with ISKCON bringing out the largest chariot.
Photo: www.flickr.com user JnM_RTW.