KARNATAKA

Rs. 65-lakh silver chariot for Kadri temple

MANGALORE, NOV. 29. Sri Kshetra Kadri here will have a silver chariot dedicated for religious use soon.

The Rajata Ratha Nirmana Samiti formed three years ago for the purpose oversaw the construction of the 24-foot chariot that weighs 350 kg. The estimated cost of the chariot, which is believed to be the tallest of its kind in the region, is Rs. 65 lakhs.

The convener of the samiti, Anantharama Rao, told presspersons here on Monday that the project was conceptualised three-and-a-half years ago with some devotees mooting the idea of dedicating a silver chariot for use during religious events at Kadri Sri Manjunateshwara Temple. Mr. Rao said that if the umbrella atop the chariot was also included then the height would come to 26 foot.

It was six feet in diameter, had four "shardhulas" (faces of lion in corners) and the "chatri" on top. The cost of the wood, which provided the basic shape to the chariot itself, cost Rs. 7 lakhs, he said.

M. Raghunath Shet and M. Ravindra Shet of S.L. Shet Jewellers supervised the filigree work on it.

Craftsmen from Koteshwara, Mysore, and Bangalore contributed their expertise during the construction of the chariot. Mr. Rao said the chariot had a steering wheel for easy guidance and intricate designs on it.

The silver used on it had been given a special coating based on modern technology to prevent it from blackening. A special feature of the chariot was that it contained various bas-relief of Lord Shiva, enhancing its beauty.

The chariot would be brought to the Town Hall from Koteshwara on December 5 and then taken to the temple in a grand procession, Mr. Rao added.

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