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Puri (Orissa): Noted Sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik has sculpted a statue of Lord Jagannath on the Puri beach here ahead of the chariot festival better known as Rath Yatra that starts Friday (July 4).
To carve this sand sculpture, Sudarshan has used only clean and fine-grained sand mixed with water.
Sudarhsan and his fellow student-artists have carved a fascinating statue of the chariot and an image of lord Jagannath surrounded by devotees. He also used coloured sand to make the statue attractive.
It took Sudarshan Patnaik and his team about five hours and 10 tonnes of sand to create the sculpture.
"Actually we have recreated the Rath Yatra (chariot procession) of Lord Jagannath in a different way. As the chariot procession is starting, we are spreading the message across the world. It's only once in a year that people of every religion can have a glimpse of Him, as generally it is Hindus who visit his temple. It is because of His grace that people from far off come to pay homage to Him," said Sudarshan.
"So we have recreated the image ahead of the Rath Yatra to enable people to visualize it from now itself," said Sudarsan Patnaik, the sand artist.
The pilgrims are eager to watch the procession and this sculpture has roused their expectation.
Various visitors to the Puri beach have appreciated Sudarshan and his team's efforts.
"This is very nice. Rath Yatra is held once in a year. As everyone can't go there, that's why God himself visits all of us. And everyone irrespective of his or her religion aspires to catch a glimpse of God. This sand art is really very beautiful," said Mainati Bishai, one visitor.
Sudarshan has an array of international credits attached to him. He has participated in more than 37 international sand sculpture festivals and championships and has won many accolades.
He recently won the USF World Championship at Berlin for a 25-feet high sand sculpture on Global warming theme.
Every year Puri's Rath Yatra is held in June-July and lasts for about ten days.
During the procession, the idols of Lord Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, the deities of the Sri Mandira, are taken out.
Thousands of devotees pull the chariots with the idols from the Jagannath Temple to the Gundicha Temple. For seven days, the deities stay at the Gundicha Temple and then return.
The 10-day Yatra will conclude on July 14