The wood for the vehicle was consecrated at 10.31 a.m.

Endowments Department officials led by priests of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami temple at Antarvedi on Saturday performed a special puja at Ravulapalem, commencing the exercise of building a new 41-feet tall chariot for the temple with teak wood from the Bastar forests of Chhattisgarh.

The special puja was meant to consecrate the wood used in the making of the chariot of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami temple, Antarvedi, under the aegis of Endowment Department Additional Commissioner K. Ramachandra Mohan, Special Officer of the Chariot Committee.

In the early hours of September 6, the century-old chariot was gutted in the fire accident, which is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

“The officials and priests of the temple have performed the puja to the wood at 10.31 a.m. on Saturday, as it is said to be an auspicious moment to begin the exercise of building the new chariot. On Saturday, the wood logs have been cut into pieces, enabling the sculptor to build the chariot,” Temple Executive Officer Yeeramsetti Bhadraji told The Hindu.

“Within a week, the entire 1,330 cubic feet of wood meant for the making of the chariot will be brought from the wood depot to the temple, where the sculptor will start the work. If everything goes planned, the making of the chariot will begin by the end of September,” Mr. Balaji said.

According to officials, police would be deployed at the temple to guard the wood to be brought to the temple, apart from monitoring of the work by the new chariot committee on a regular basis. An amount of ₹95 lakh has been granted for the new chariot project, which is targeted to be completed by mid-January next year.

Chariot Committee Convener D. Bhramaramba, Executive Engineer (Endowments) G.V.R. Sekhar, Assistant Stapathi G. Srinivasachari and others officials participated in the puja.

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