PURI: The pilgrim town of Puri was flooded with a sea of humanity on Sunday as five lakh devotees thronged the Gundicha Temple to have a glimpse of the Trinity.
Over two lakh devotees also feasted on Mahaprasad (offering to deities) on the occasion of Sandhya Darshan (the evening of ninth day of the Rath Yatra) considered as auspicious and holy.
The Gundicha Temple kitchen remained busy throughout the day as cooks raced against time to prepare huge quantity of Mahaprasad of the Lords.
Sources said the price of the Mahaprasad shot up considerably as devotees in large number turned up to have a taste of the holy food.
As per religious belief, anyone who catches a glimpse of the Baman (deities) on the Aadap Mandap gets salvation. And one earns ‘Punya’ by offering prayer to Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra atop the pedestal in the sanctum sanctorum of the Gundicha Temple and consuming the Mahaprasad.
The district administration had erected barricades from one kilometre distance from the temple’s main gate to facilitate entry of devotees in a disciplined manner. Chief Temple Administrator Arabind Padhi, District Magistrate Dhiren Pattnaik and Superintendent of Police Anup Kumar oversaw the arrangements. New DGP Sanjib Marik also visited the festival site.
Darshan of the deities, which began early in the morning, was closed at seven pm as per schedule.
Meanwhile, preparation for the “Bahuda Yatra” scheduled to be held on Monday was in full swing. All the three Raths have been veered to the exit gate (called Nakachana Dwar) of the Gundicha Temple and parked at Saradha Bali for the return journey of the deities.
According to a temple release, the deities would be escorted out in Goti Pahandi (one by one) from the sanctum sanctorum of the temple after the rituals of Abakash, Mailum, Surya Puja and offering of Gopal Bhog to the deities.
The Pahandi would commence by 12 pm. The Chherapahanra by Gajapati King Divyasingh Dev would be performed and the Taladhwaja chariot of Lord Balabhadra would be pulled first by thee pm.