Thousands brave rains to witness Snana Purnima in Puri Jagannath temple

As per tradition, the deities were brought down from the Ratnasimhasan and escorted out of Garbhagruha in pahandi to the snana vedi by the daita servitors.
Shree Jagannath temple at Puri
Shree Jagannath temple at PuriFile Photo | Express

PURI: Puri witnessed heavy showers on Saturday but the downpour failed to deter thousands of devotees from witnessing the majestic Snana Purnima of the holy Trinity.

As per tradition, the deities were brought down from the Ratnasimhasan and escorted out of Garbhagruha (sanctum sanctorum) in pahandi to the snana vedi (bathing altar) by the daita servitors. The ritual began at 5.20 am and was completed by 7.45 am. The pahandi began with Lord Sudarshan followed by Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath. Snan Vedi is a huge bathing altar located at the east of the temple close to the outer complex overlooking Badadanda near Singhadwar.

After the deities were placed on the altar, nitees like mangala alati, tadaplagi, mailum, abakash, suryapuja and rosahoma were performed by the priests. The deities were then dressed for bathing which began at 1.10 pm and continued for around one hour.

As many as 108 pitchers of water drawn from the well by garabadu servitors, blended with aromatic herbs, were used to bathe the Trinity. After the ritual, the deities were dressed in new clothes. Gajapati Dibyasingh Deb performed ‘chhera pahanra’ (sweeping the chariots with a gold broom) and offered arati and prayers. This ceremony began at 2.35 pm and was over by 3.10 pm.

At around 3.20 pm, three sets of servitors began adorning the deities with colourful elephant masks in what is called Hati Besha. The ritual was completed by 4.30 pm. The devotees witnessed all the rituals from Badadanda Sahan Mela (public darshan) from 7.30 am till late at night.

Devotees would be able to witness Hati Besha till late at night. Then the deities would be taken in pahandi to Anasar Ghar (sick room for deities in the temple complex) where they would be treated for fever by their physician (vaidya) for 13 days instead of the usual 15. The deities will be offered fruits during the period. Instead of the regular three bhogs, the deities were offered a single one comprising 39 items on the day. On the outer wall of the sick room, images of the deities were fixed called ‘patti dian’ to whom the bhog was offered.

As per legend, Lord Jagannath during the Anasar period manifests in Alarnath deb. Devotees rush to Alarnath temple, 23 km away from Puri to have darshan and partake ‘kheer prasad.’ The deities would give public darshan after they recover in what is called ‘Nabajouban darshan’ a day prior to Rath Yatra.

Meanwhile, 68 platoons of police and other security personnel were deployed for the ritual. Collector Siddharth Shankar Swain, SP Pinak Mishra and temple chief administrator Vir Vikram Yadav looked after the arrangements.

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The New Indian Express