Seven servitors injured after rare slip of Lord Balabhadra in Puri

Volunteers found seven daita servitors injured and rushed them to the DHH where doctors attended to them.
Lord Balabhadra slipping on charamala at Gundicha temple on Tuesday
Lord Balabhadra slipping on charamala at Gundicha temple on Tuesday Photo | Express

PURI: Seven servitors were injured during the ‘pahandi’ rituals when the ropes to control Lord Balabhadra’s movement loosened, causing the deity to fall on the slanting ladders, in what was a rare mishap, here on Tuesday.

The incident took place when the holy Trinity was being taken out of the chariots parked in front of Gundicha temple to the Adapa Mandap.

According to eye witnesses, the ‘pahandi’ rituals began at 7 pm. The servitors unfastened the ropes and were escorting the deity to ‘charamala’ (slanting ladders fixed to chariots to facilitate pahandi). However, the ropes on the back to control movement of the deity on the ladder came undone causing Lord Balabhadra to fall on the servitors on duty towards the front. After much effort, the deity was straightened and ‘pahandi’ rituals resumed.

Volunteers found seven daita servitors injured and rushed them to the DHH where doctors attended to them. X-ray and ultra sound tests were being conducted. Injuries, however, are not fatal, a duty doctor said.

Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi expressed his regret over the incident and directed Law Minister Prithiviraj Harichandan to rush to Puri to take necessary measures. Deputy CM Pravati Parida was also asked to head to Puri. Devotees were also in shock as they saw the mishap live on television channels.

Earlier on the day, the priests performed the daily rituals and dry bhog was offered to the deities on their respective chariots. Servitors dressed the holy Trinity in new attire. When pahandi rituals began, Sudarshan was escorted into the sanctum sanctorum of Gundicha Temple where ‘goti pahandi’ system is followed. Under this system, servitors escort one deity at a time. After placing one on the ‘Ratna Simhasan,’ they return to take another.

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