Hanuman, the biggest devotee of Lord Ram is one of the central characters from the epic Ramayan. He is regarded as the ideal combination of strength (Shakti) and devotion (Bhakti). Hanuman is one of the most popular and revered figures in Hindu mythology. The legend of Hanuman also appears in mythology across South East Asia in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar etc.
Similar intricately carved wooden panels were used to build chariots. Temple cars or chariots also called as “Rathas” are vehicles used to carry idols of Hindu gods in processions on annual festival days. These are usually made of wood and in most cases have exquisite and intricate carvings on multiple set-in panels. The carvings can be images depicting stories from puranas, deities, mythical animals like Yali, ganas, dancers, real animals etc.
The anglo-Indian term “Juggernaut” was inspired by the large temple cars at Jagannath temple, Puri. The chariot at Thiruvarur, Tamil Nadu is said to be the largest – 29 metres tall and weighing over 300 tonnes.Rathas from different parts of India vary in style and size. These rathas decorated with flowers and jewels are pulled with thick ropes by hundreds of devotees.
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