JAGATSINGHPUR:The rituals preceding the felling of Daru (holy Neem tree) near Sarala temple at Kanakpur in the district for carving the idol of Lord Balabhadra began on Wednesday with ‘Bhumi Sodhana’.
Banajagis and Swotriya Brahmins started the puja as per tradition. A Swotriya Brahmin Debi Prasad Rajguru said after pouring 108 pots of holy water on the Daru as a mark of bathing, ‘ajnamala’ will be presented to Lord Balabhadra near the Daru and it will be followed by ‘bije’ of Chakramala and Mandaladhis. After these rituals, Mahayajna will be performed for two days and the Daru will be cut on April 25, he added.
Efforts are also being made to construct the ‘sagadi’ that will cart the Daru to the Jagannath Temple in Puri for carving the deity. Daitapatis appreciated the arrangements made by the district administration to perform the rituals smoothly.
Meanwhile, the condition of eight bullocks who carried the Banajagis from Gadakhuntunia near Bhubaneswar to Sarala temple here has deteriorated. Four bullock carts were used to carry the ‘ajnamala’ to Lord Balabhadra. A team of veterinary doctors are taking care of the bullocks, said sources.
Sub-Collector Narahari Sethy said 30 CCTV cameras have been installed at the temple site to check the movement of criminals. Steps have also been taken to manage the flow of devotees which is likely to rise in the next two days. Parking places have been identified for vehicles coming from Balikuda, Jagatsinghpur, Paradip, Kendrapara and Cuttack and police forces deployed to maintain law and order, he added.
Meanwhile, the official declaration for the Daru of Devi Subhadra would be made by the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) on April 24 or 25 after the felling of Daru for Lord Balabhadra’s idol.