PURI: Over 15 lakh devotees converged on the Grand Road here to witness the maiden ‘Suna Besha’ of the Trinity of Jagannath Temple after
Nabakalebara on Monday. The new idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra laden with gold ornaments looked spectacular on the chariots.
Servitors began dressing the idols at about 4.15 pm and completed the process by 6 pm. Huge ornaments of different types measuring about 100 kgs were brought from the temple treasury to decorate the deities.
The ornaments include giant limbs -- feet and hands besides insignias like mace, lotus, wheels, plough and conch. The deities also wore three huge tiaras, a number of special necklaces, garlands, ‘kundala’ and chest armours all made of gold.
The Suna Besha darshan was closed for devotees by 11 pm and the ornaments were deposited in the temple treasury amid tight security. A multi-layer security cordon was thrown around the three chariots to ensure smooth progress of the rituals.
The 1978 inventory of Lords’ wealth revealed that there are 367 gold ornaments weighing four quintals and 251 silver ornaments weighing 14 quintals. The ornaments are used to decorate the deities round-the-year on several occasions.
Most of the ornaments are studded with diamond, emerald, ruby and other precious stones. Of the total seven vaults of the temple treasury, only one is opened and its contents used.
Devotees started pouring in from early Monday morning and the flow increased with every passing hour. The devotees had to walk at least seven kms from every direction to reach the Simhadwar as the administration had closed all entry points to Bada Danda. The devotees walked through the one-km barricade from Municipal Market Square for a darshan.
Minister of State for Law and Panchayatiraj Arun Sahu, DGP Sanjeev Marik, Officer on Special Duty Soumendra Priyadarshi, Chief Administrator of Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Suresh Chandra Mahapatra, District Magistrate Arabind Agarwal, SP Asish Singh, IGP RP Koche and other senior officers of the Government were present.