JAGATSINGHPUR: The Biswakarmas of the Banajaga Yatra team started ‘Chaupata’ (sizing the log) work for Daru (holy tree) of Lord Balabhadra at Sarala temple in Kanakpur on Saturday. The tremors of earthquake in the morning did not affect the Chaupata work and other rituals. The holy tree fell to the ground at 12.47 am amid chants of ‘Jai Jagannath’ and ‘Hari Bol’.
Daru Chhedana (felling of holy Neem tree) for idol of Lord Balabhadra started at Kanakpur on Friday noon. After ‘Purna Ahuti’ of the Mahayajna by Swotriya Brahmins, which had started from Thursday, felling of the sacred tree in front of Sarala temple began. It is believed that after ‘Purna Ahuti’ and ‘Puspanjali’ at the Mahayajna, the Daru is transformed into Mahadaru, the timber out of which the earthly body of the Lord Balabhadra will be carved, to be later infused with the ‘brahma’ of the Lord.
The Swotriya Brahmins and Daitapatis, who were observing ‘nirjala’ fast (abstention from food and water) since Wednesday, broke the fast after felling of the Daru. A large number of devotees had congregated at the Sarala temple to have a glimpse of the Mahadaru, the felled tree.
After the tree fell, Daitapatis collected the log and Biswakarmas began trimming it into a specific dimension for making the idol. The remains of the holy tree will be buried in a large ditch dug in the vicinity of Sarala temple.
The Chaupata work and construction of Sagadi - cart made of banyan, Tendu and tamarind wood - would take another two days. The trunk of the felled tree, covered with silk cloth, will leave Kanakpur for Puri by April 28. It will be carried in the Sagadi that would be pulled by Daitapatis and devotees using special ropes.
Daru Site at Adhanga Being Cleared
The Jagatsinghpur administration has started widening the approach road to Nilakantheswar temple in Adhanga under Biridi block of Jagatsinghpur district where Daru for carving a new idol of Devi Subhadra for Nabakalebara. The area near the temple is also being cleared for construction of Sabarapalli and Yajna Mandap. While Sabarapalli will serve as temporary home of the Daitapatis, various rituals for cutting the tree will be performed at Yajna Mandap. The old yajna mandap in the temple is being demolished for erection of a new one.
The Mukhya Badagrahi (chief body protector) of Devi Subhadra, Ramdas Mohapatra said the Banajaga Yatra team members will reach Adhanga on April 29, a day after the Sagadi carrying Mahadaru for Lord Balabhadra’s idol leaves from Kanakpur to Puri. Rituals like ‘Ankuraropan’ and ‘Daru Sodhan’ at the tree selected for Devi Subhadra’s idol will be performed on April 30, which will be followed by Mahayajna.
Collector Satya Kumar Mallick said steps are being taken to widen the village road leading to the Daru site. “There is a pond near the holy tree, which will be filled up partially to expand the Daru site,” he said.
Five platoons of police force have been deployed at Adhanga to maintain law and order situation. With thousands of devotees thronging the temple for Daru ‘darshan’, three parking areas have been identified. Local youths and police personnel are ensuring smooth flow of traffic.