Jharsuguda News

Brajrajnagar’s ‘brake system’ for ensuring accident-free Rath Yatra at Puri

Jharsuguda : While the world knows of Puri’s famous Rath Yatra, few are aware that the innovative brake system ensuring the safety of this grand event originates from Brajrajnagar, a town in Jharsuguda district. The masterminds behind this vital safety feature are Er. Aswin Kumar Mishra, a retired mechanical engineer from Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. (MCL) Lajcura Open Cast Mines, and his colleague, Jaggu Benia, also a retired MCL worker. They have been meticulously refining and implementing this brake system for the past 17 years, assisted by Prashanta Benia, Trilochan Badhai, and Dhaniram Bagh.

In 2007, Aswin Kumar Mishra attended the Rath Yatra and observed the inefficacy of the wooden logs used to stop the chariots. Despite the application of these logs, the chariots continued to drag, posing a significant risk to the devotees. Determined to find a solution, Mishra enlisted the help of his friend Jaggu Benia, who owned a fabrication shop in the Sanjob area of Brajrajnagar.

Together, they created a replica of the wooden log brake system and experimented with various materials to enhance its effectiveness. Initially, in 2008, they used ordinary rubber and local nails, gaining approval from the then-secretary of Puri Sri Mandir. However, the wear and tear of the rubber rendered it ineffective.

Undeterred, they continued their trials. In 2009, they tried steel nails, but this too failed to meet the requirements. It was in 2010 that their perseverance paid off. They developed a brake system using custom-made larger headnails and thick rubber sheets designed to absorb shocks. This innovation successfully halted the chariots without any dangerous dragging, ensuring the safety of the devotees.

Today, this brake system, originating from Brajrajnagar, plays a crucial role in the smooth and accident-free operation of Puri’s Rath Yatra. The dedication and ingenuity of Mishra, Benia, and their team have significantly contributed to one of India’s most revered religious festivals, yet their story remains relatively unknown.

The unsung heroes of Jharsuguda, through their relentless efforts, have made a lasting impact on the safety and success of the divine Rath Yatra, ensuring that the majestic chariots of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra can be controlled with precision and care.


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