Why does the King broom the Chariots – Chhera Pahanra

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During the Rath Yatra, after the deities are brought from the sanctum of the Temple to the three Rathas, various rituals are performed. Among these rituals, one of the most important is Chhera Pahanra – Brooming of the Rathas by the Gajapati Maharaj of Puri. He cleans the platforms with a golden broom, sprinkling flowers and fragrant water on the surface of the chariots. It is said, that the no force can move the chariots an inch, if the King does not broom it.

chhera pahanra

The King symbolizes power, wealth, honour, influence; he is held in high esteem by the multitude. But whatever may be the king’s status he must have the virtue of humility; a sense of values. Unless the king
submits humbly to higher values, he will fall short in performing his duties. The Jagannath culture teaches us the same – to be humble. The King performs the brooming to show that like all others, He too is a servant of Jagannath and therefore is not hesitant to perform any duty.

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