PURI: After nine-days of sojourn, the Trinity entered the sanctum sanctorum of the Puri temple in ceremonial ‘Pahandi’ late on Thursday. Amidst two layers of security cordon to prevent people from touching the deities, the divine Siblings were brought down from Their respective chariots by Daita servitors, taken inside the temple and seated atop the Ratnasimhasan.
Priests performed ‘mangala arati’, ‘abakash’ and offered fruits as ‘bhog’ to the deities on the three chariots. After ‘Sandhya Dhupa’, preparation began for ‘Pahandi’ with fixing of ‘chara-mara’ (ladders) to the chariots. This year, ‘Pahandi’ began two hours in advance at 4.40 pm. The procession began with artists performing Gotipua and Odissi and musicians playing cymbals, ghantas, trumpets. Madan Mohan and Ramakrushna were first taken into the temple followed by Sudarshan, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath.
A traditional play was enacted between Lord Jagannath and his consort Goddess Mahalaxmi. By the order of the Goddess, the temple gate was closed to prevent entry of Lord Jagannath to teach him a lesson for not taking Her in the nine-day trip to Gundicha temple. Goddess Mahalaxmi maintains a close vigil from Chahani mandap (a projected platform situated at the right side of the temple main gate) on the activities of Lord Jagannath. While Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra were allowed to enter the temple, the door was slammed on the face of Lord Jagannath. The Lord then offered ‘’rasagolas’’ to His consort to appease her. After a long persuasion, She allowed Him inside the temple. The homecoming ceremony is called Niladri Bije.
Devotees would be served Mahaprasad known as ‘Nilachal Abhada’ on Friday. Temple Chief Administrator PK Jena, District Magistrate Arabind Agarwal and SP Sarthak Sarangi were present.