Sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik creates a sculpture of Lord Jagannath and the three chariots at Saradha Bali in front of Gundicha temple in Puri on Monday, instead of the Puri beach. Sudarshan Patnaik created an eight-feet high sand sculpture of Lord Jagannath and the three chariots. It took him and students of his art school seven hours to carve out the figures. They used about six tons of sand to create the sculptures. As the place is situated on the main road with heavy traffic plying, the sculptures were displayed only for a day. About change of the venue, Patnaik said: “I had a dream to create sand sculpture of Lord Jagannath on Saradhabali (The holy sand) and thankfully I got a chance to make the sand chariots here in front of the Gundicha temple.” He thanked the Jagannath temple administration for supporting him in his endeavour.
On Monday, Patnaik’s art attracted many viewers. “This is marvellous. I am seeing something like this for the first time. I have heard his name but to see Patnaik work live is indeed a special moment,” said Ananya Datta, a visitor. The Saradha Bali is significant since the rath yatra rituals were hosted around the river that flowed from there. Saradha Devi, wife of the 13th century King of Puri, Narasingh Deva, requested to fill the river and for convenience of deities and devotees. Hence, the site is called Saradha Bali. Also, Patnaik believes in carrying forward the legacy of poet Balaram Das, who had created sand sculptures of the chariots since he was not allowed to pull the chariot.