Amar Chitra Katha is a collection of illustrated classics that retell stories from Indian
mythology, history, folktale and legend through the fascinating medium of comics. Over 430
stories from all over India have been told in this series that has been endorsed by
educationists and recommended by teachers the world over.
Through a masterful blend of commentary, dialogue and illustration, Amar Chitra
Katha presents complex historical facts and intricate mythology in a format that would
appeal to children. They not only entertain, but also provide a fitting introduction to the
cultural heritage of India. In a country so vast and varied, the series also serves as a
medium for national integration, by introducing young readers to the rich cultural diversity
of the country and highlighting the achievements of local heroes.
Amar Chitra Katha comics are like family heirlooms, passed down from generation to
Back of the Book
Jagannathapuri in Orissa is one of the four major centres of pilgrimage in India. Built
nearly eight centuries ago, during the reign of Chodagangadeva, the gigantic temple of Lord
Jagannatha enshrines wooden idols of Lord Krishna, his brother Balabhadra and sister
Subhadra. A divine dream ordained a life-long passion in king Indradyumna to enshrine Lord
Krishna in a temple whose legend would life through the ages.
The annual festival of the temple is called Ratha Yatra or Gundicha yatra, in which
the three idols are taken out in chariots in a large procession. New chariots are built
every year. However, new idols are carved only every 12 years. The image-making is governed
by many traditions. The images must be carved from the trunk of a neem tree that grows at a
crossroad; there should be no marks on it, no birds' nests built on it, and there should be
a snake-hole at the foot of this tree. When the log from such a neem is brought to Puri, the
heads of the families bearing the names Vishvavasu, Vidyapati and Vishvakarma (celebrated
personalities whose contributions to King Indradyumna's quest were invaluable) symbolically
strike it with axes of gold, silver and iron. After this, the images are carved out.
Symbolically, the rather or chariot is supposed to represent the human body; the horses,
human desires; and the charioteer, judgement.
The legend of the unusual deities and customs of the Jagannathapuri Temple is
unfolded in this Amar Chitra Katha.
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