BALASORE:Religious fervour ran high in Balasore district as devotees thronged three separate places on Saturday where the holy Neem trees for the idols in Jagannath temple in Nilagiri, known as Srikshetra of Balasore were identified.
Unlike Puri, five Neem trees are selected here for carving out new idols of the Trinity, Lord Sudarshan and Parswa Devata (deities worshiped on the four sides of the temple).
While the three Neem trees for the Trinity were found inside the campus of Nilagiri police station, that of Lord Sudarshan was located near jail campus. The Daru for Parswa Devata was found at Bairamnagar in Balasore town.
After receipt of ajnamala (go ahead) from the temple, ‘yajna’ was started in the morning at the three places. Servitors of the temple performed some secret rituals at the trees which was followed by ‘Purna Ahuti’. The trees would be felled with the help of iron axes on Sunday and carried to the Nilagiri temple.
Besides the Nilagiri Jagannath temple, Nabakalebara is being held at 11 temples in the district. Though initially the Nilagiri temple management was apprehensive of the festival due to funds crunch, it decided to go for it after the district administration assured to arrange funds.