PURI: The stage is set for Bahuda Yatra, the return journey of Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra on Sunday. On Saturday last, the Trinity began their sojourn from Sri Mandir to the Gundicha temple in their three gigantic chariots along the Grand Road.
The three chariots have already been given a south turn called ‘Dakshin Moda’ and parked in front of the Nakachana Dwar, the exit gate of the Sri Gundicha temple.
On Sunday, the servitors would escort the deities in the ceremonial ‘Pahandi’ procession after the observance of several rites like ‘Mangal arati’, ‘Surya pooja’, ‘Dwarpal pooja’ and ‘Rosha homa’.
The deities would come out of the sanctum sanctorum of the Gundicha temple after taking ‘Gopal’ and ‘Khichdi’ bhogs. As per the temple schedule, the ‘Pahandi’ would begin by 12 pm and is expected to be completed by 2.30 pm.
The ‘Chhera Pahanra’ by Gajapati Dibyasingh Deb is slated for 2.30 pm to 3.30 pm and pulling of the chariots would begin by 4 pm.
Chief Secretary GC Pati reviewed the arrangements for the Bahuda Yatra, Suna Besha, Adhar Pana and Niladri Bije of the deities on Saturday.
The administration would provide free transportation to pilgrims and tourists from the Malatipatpur bus stand to two locations in the town, through 70 buses on these occasions. The 33 Nabakalebara villages have been readied to accommodate 80,000 people.
The ‘Sandhya Darshan’, considered the most auspicious day of the nine-day Rath Yatra, was a damp affair on Saturday with the road in front of the Gundicha temple being waterlogged following rain.
With the rain lashing the town for two hours, devotees could not turn up in large numbers unlike previous years when lakhs of people thronged the Gundicha temple to have ‘Sandhya Darshan’ of the Trinity.
Early in the morning, devotees queued up in front of the temple for the ‘darshan’. Barricades were erected in front of the temple for smooth movement of devotees. People feasted on Mahaprasad on the occasion of ‘Sandhya Darshan’.
The Gundicha temple kitchen was abuzz with activity with the cooks preparing huge quantity of Mahaprasad for the offering to the Trinity.
The darshan was closed at 7 pm.