DHENKANAL: Devotees in large numbers thronged Amalapada in Dhenkanal town on Wednesday after members of the Banajaga Yatra, led by senior servitor of Puri Jagannath Temple Haladhar Das Mohapatra, visited a house in the area in search of Daru.
Sources in the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) said during the search operation in Amalapada, the Daitapatis came across a Neem tree in the house of one Mira Bai with symbols embedded on its trunk that appeared similar to those prescribed in Nabakalebara manual. “But we cannot be sure about the actual tree at present. The Daitapatis will continue their search operation and a final call on the actual trees will be taken only after a meeting among the Daitapatis and the temple administration,” said Das Mohapatra.
Mira said the Neem tree is being worshipped by her family members and ancestors for the last 60 years.
As locals rushed to the spot to have a glimpse of the Neem tree, police had to face a tough time in managing the crowd. Thousands of vehicles had to be stationed at the main bus stand near Amalapada.
Later in the day, the Banajaga team members also visited Khadakprasad village and examined some more Neem trees.
Divisional Forest Officer PK Sahoo said the district forest administration has decided to grow trees under Jagannath Bana Prakalpa (Jagannath Forest Project) for meeting the requirement of wood during the annual Rath Yatra of the Trinity.
The project would be spread in an area of over 175 hectares under different forest ranges.