Odisha’s Rukuna Rath Ready To Roll Out On Rajpath During R-Day Parade

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Bhubaneswar: A team of 25 artists and carpenters are busy putting up Lingaraj Temple and Rukuna Rath tableau, which will showcase Odisha’s rich cultural heritage during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi this year.

It is after two years that the state’s tableau made a cut for the parade.

The front portion will be a replica of Rukuna Rath while the rear will be a miniature model of Lingaraj Temple, Gajendra Sahoo, who has designed the tableau, told the TNIE.

He has been working on 16-ft high, 14-ft wide and 45-ft long tableau being made with plywood and cloth since December 25 last year along with 18 students of BK College of Art and Craft, Bhubaneswar.  It will also feature a ‘Nandi’, the bull, made of fibre glass and four models of priests fixed to the corners of the chariot.

Meanwhile, 30 Odissi dancers are busy practising steps choreographed by Sunil Bala and set to the tunes of a music composed by Ajay Choudhury for the parade. They will accompany the tableau, which will be the 9th to roll out on the Rajpath.


The Rukuna Ratha festival is held on Ashokastami or Basanti Durga Puja, when three deities, Chandrasekhar-the representative of lord Lingaraja, Rukmini and Basudeva, ascend the chariot and are drawn to Rameswara Temple in Bhubaneswar. The uniqueness of this festival is that on its return journey after four days, the chariot is drawn to the temple from the rear.  There is a saying in Odia, “Rukuna Ratha Ana Leuta”, which means the chariot of Rukuna never turns back. Instead of turning the face of the chariote, the ropes, the horses and the Singhasana of the Vigrahas are placed on the its opposite side.





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