Sabara Srikhetra Seeks Leftover 'Daru'

Published: 07th May 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th May 2015 06:00 AM   |  A+A-

Subhadra Daru

KORAPUT: The administration of Sabara Srikhetra (Jagannath temple in Koraput) has urged the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) in Puri to donate remnants of Daru (holy Neem tree) for construction of new idols for the Trinity here.

Sabara Srikhetra is considered the most important temple of Lord Jagannath, next to Puri. The Jagannath temple here was built in 1972 and the practice of pulling of chariots started after consecration of the temple. The Sabara Srikhetra of Koraput shares one thing with the Puri Rath Yatra - Lord Jagannath carries as much religious significance for the tribal devotees at Koraput as for one and all in Puri. Here, the Lord is worshipped as ‘Daru Brahma’.

The last Nabakalebara in Sabara Srikhetra was observed in 1971 when the remnants of the Daru used for preparing the idol of Lord Balabhadra at Puri temple were used for making all the three idols here.

Sources in the temple management said in 1969 Nabakalebara, after preparation of new idol of Lord Balabhadra at Puri temple, some timber was left. The then members of Sabara Srikhetra management urged the SJTA and Puri Gajapati Maharaj to donate the leftover Daru to make the three idols for Koraput Jagannath temple. The then SJTA agreed and the remnants of Balabhadra Daru were taken to Koraput with which the three idols were made in Sabara Srikhetra in 1971.

Since then, Nabakalebara has not been observed in the Koraput Jagannath temple.

Priest of Sabara Srikhetra, Gada Moharana informed that the temple has been depending on Jagannath temple at Puri for Daru as it is difficult to find holy Neem tree in the region with all the divine symbols as per the Nabakalebara manual.

“As no Daru was available from Puri temple in 1996, Nabakalebara was not observed here,” he said. The priest added that the three deities at Sabara Srikhetra would only get new bodies from the leftover Daru of the Trinity at Puri. “We have urged the SJTA to give us some leftover Daru after construction of idols of the Trinity in June,” he added.

The Rath Yatra at Sabara Srikhetra is linked to the ‘Saura’ tribe who worship Lord Jagannath as their presiding deity.

Legend has it that a ‘Saura’ tribal chief Biswabasu, who served Lord Jagannath, worshipped Him in a wooden form. Even to this day, the wooden form of the Lord worshipped by Biswabasu finds place in the village temples of Laxmipur, Boipariguda, Narayanpatna, Pottangi, Gunupur, Bissam Cuttack, Nandapur, Kotia and Semiliguda.


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