PURI: THE Bahuda Yatra of Trinity saw a gathering of over five lakh in Puri on Monday. The Lords, after spending a week at Gundicha temple, returned to the main temple.Amid overcast conditions and drizzle, devotees witnessed the ‘Pahandi’ of Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra and pulled the three massive chariots to the Lions Gate one after another. Amid chants of Jai Jagannath and Haribol, the deities stepped out of the Nakachana Dwara - the exit gate of Gundicha temple. ‘Goti Pahandi’ was conducted in Gundicha temple with Lord Balabhadra being escorted to His chariot first by the Daita servitors followed by Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath. Devotees jostled to have a glimpse of Lord Jagannath as He stepped out of the temple swinging a giant tiara in ‘Pahandi’.
Apparently, this year, the ‘Pahandi’ was completed around one hour before the scheduled time. While the time for ‘Pahandi’ was fixed for 11 am, it began by 9.40 am. To ensure timely observance of Bahuda Yatra rituals, the temple administration had closed ‘Sandhya Darshan’ by 7 pm on Sunday. This facilitated the Daita servitors to prepare the deities for the tedious Bahuda journey. Special body armours ‘Chhenapatta’ were fixed to the bodies of the deities. After observance of a complex set of rituals like Mangal Aarati, Mailam, Tadap Laagi, Abakash, Surya Puja and offering of Gopal Bhog, the ceremonial Pahandi began at 9.40 am and was completed by 12.10 pm.
‘Chherapahanra’ by Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb was completed by 2 pm. Pulling of chariots began with Taladhawaja of Lord Balabhadra rolling out by 2.08 pm followed by Darpdalana of Devi Subhadra at 2.40 pm and Lord Jagannath came in His Nandighosha chariot at 3 pm.
Devotees pulled the three chariots along the three-km-long Badadanda to the main temple. Midway, the Trinity tasted their favourite Podapitha baked by Their maternal aunt, Mausi Maa.
Lord Balabhadra’s Taladhwaja reached the Lions Gate at 5 pm and 20 minutes later, Devi Subhadra returned in Her chariot. Lord Jagannath’s Nandighosha stopped near the palace of the Gajapati King where the ceremonial ‘Laxmi Narayana Bheta’ was observed. The ritual was completed at 7 pm under floodlights.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Health Minister Pratap Jena witnessed the fete. Temple chief administrator PK Jena, District Magistrate Arabinda Agarwal, SP Sarthak Sadangi and ADG of Police Satyajit Mohanty oversaw the arrangements.Police personnel in plain clothes detained a number of miscreants who were involved in snatching chain and pick-pocketing on the Grand Road.
The ‘Suna Besha’ of the Trinity would be held atop the three chariots on Tuesday while ‘Adharpana’ would be offered to the deities on Wednesday. The deities will enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temple on Thursday in ‘Pahandi’ procession, called Niladri Bije.