PURI: As if the deities could not wait any longer to return to Srimandir, the chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra reached Simhadwar on Bahuda Yatra three hours ahead of schedule on Saturday amid a congregation of devotees.
Early in the morning after the usual rituals of mangal arati, mailum, roshoma, suryapuja, dwarpalpuja and gopalbhog, pahandi of the deities began by 7.55 am and was over by 12.25 pm as cymbal, conch, bugle, drum, clarionet, flute and mrudang and huluhuli rented the air.
Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb performed Chherapahanra soon after, allowing servitors to fix the wooden horses to chariots. The Taladhwaja of Lord Balabhadra started rolling by 1.40 pm followed by Darpadalan of Devi Subhadra and Nandighosa of Lord Jagannath. All the three chariots reached Simhadwar before time.
While Taladhwaja reached Simhadwar at 4.20 pm and Darpadalan at 4.50 pm, Lord Jagannath had to wait midway near the Mausima temple to taste Podapitha (a special cake baked by lord’s aunt). The Nandighosha also stayed put near the Gajapati’s palace for ‘Laxminarayan Bhet’ conducted by the Gajapati.
With Mahalaxmi peeved over being left out of the pleasure ride to aunt’s house, Gajapati, being the foremost servitor of the deities conducted reconciliation proceedings between Mahalaxmi and Jagannath in presence of Mahajan servitors. The ritual took over an hour after which the chariot reached Srimandir gate by 6.30 pm.
Devotees in large numbers participated in the event and pulled the rathas along the Badadanda to the Lions gate.All through the event, fire tender teams had a tough time sprinkling water on the congregation due to heat and humidity. Elaborate security arrangements were made for the safe and smooth conduct of the fete.
Temple chief administrator Vir Vikram Yadav, District Magistrate Samarth Verma, SP K Vishal Singh and DGP Sunil Bansal were present throughout. No untoward incident was reported on the day.