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As with many other handicrafts of Odisha, the roots of the applique art/craft form is interwined with the rituals and traditions of Lord Jagannath, the presiding deity of the Puri temple. The applique items are mainly used during processions of the deities in their various ritual outings. Items like Chhati, Tarasa and Chandua are used for the purpose. However, the applique work in its colourful best is most prominent in the cloth cover of the three chariots of the presiding deities in which they travel every year during the Ratha Yatra or Car Festival. As per tradition, the colour scheme of the three covers is predetermined. The chariot of Balabhadra known as Taladhawaja has a cloth covering of bright green and red, while that of Subhadra known as Padmadhwaja or Darpadalana has a cover of bright red and black. The chariot of Lord Jagannath called Nadighosha has a cover of bright red and yellow. The basic design of all three is similar being a combination of narrow and wide stripes while on the four sides above the openings, there are applique mythical motifs like Rahu, Chandra as well as motifs from nature like flowers etc. It is these colourful applique covers which indentify the chariots of the three deities from far away by the millions of pilgrims thronging the Badadanda or the extrawide main road of Puri in which the lords make their annual sojourn in the car festival. Seats and pillows in applique are also made for ceremonial use by the deities during the annual ritual of bathing festival (Snana Jatra) and is locally known as 'Chakada Kama' with motifs of 27 stars and geometrical forms in applique work with motifs of fish, frog etc. on black cloth is used in the ritual dress of the Deities of Puri temple, locally known as the 'Gaja Uddharana Vesha', incarnation of Rescuer of Elephant. Applique cover is also made for caparisoning the dummy horses in the 'Horse Dance' or Ghoda Nacha during Chaitra Festival in Puri and other places.
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