Odisha artist creates Lord Jagannath’s idol with 3,635 matchsticks

Amid the surge in coronavirus cases here, Saswat Ranjan Sahoo, an artist in Odisha’s Puri, has created an idol of Lord Jagannath using 3,635 matchsticks to pray for the well-being of people and eradication of the pandemic.

Sahoo took 11 days to design this art piece. “I have prayed to God Jagannath to wipe away the COVID-19 pandemic from our lives,” he said while showcasing his work. Since people are not allowed in the Jagannath temple currently, Sahoo decided to help them through his artwork.

“Many people are not able to visit the Lord Jagannath temple owing to the ongoing pandemic situation. Hence, I decided to create this idol so that people could pray to God via my artwork,” he added.

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According to media reports, the Jagannath temple is likely to reopen in December. The iconic temple is closed since March in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sahoo also showcased some of his artworks at the Puri beach.

On Friday, the Nagarjuna Besha of Lord Jagannath and siblings was held in Puri after a gap of 26 years. The last Besha of the Lords was held in 1994.

This year’s celebration was muted due to the coronavirus. It was performed in presence of servitors and temple officials due to the pandemic. Odisha on Saturday has registered 550 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours taking the tally to 3,17,789, as per the State Health Department.

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