Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jul 18:
The Bada Danda (Grand Road) in Odisha’s pilgrim town of Puri turned a sea of humanity as nearly 15 lakh people watched the millennium’s first Nabakalebara Rath Yatra today.
Despite the unfortunate incident that left two women killed and 10 others injured. religious fervour was at fever pitch with cries of ‘Jai Jagannath’ renting the air.
However, except the Taladhwaja chariot of Lord Balabhadra which reached Sri Gundicha temple, pulling of the chariots of Devi Suvadra’s Darpadalan and Lord Jagannath’s Nandighosh was called off as the evening set in as they remained at Badasankha and Balagandi respectively.
The chariots will resume their journey to Gundicha Temple between 8 AM and 8.30 AM tomorrow, the Shri Jagannath Temple Administration said.
The grand festivity began with the rituals of the Lords completed well in time by the Daitapatis, who performed the Mangala Alati of the Lords at 6 AM, Mailam at 6.10 AM, Tadapa Lagi at 6.30 AM, Rosha Homa at 6.30 AM, Abakasha Niti at 7 AM, Surya Puja at 7.10 AM, Dwarapala Puja at7.30 AM.
The Lords were later offered with Gopala Ballav and Sakala Dhupa (Khechudi Bhoga) between 8 AM and 9 AM.
After the Ratha (chariot) Pratistha at 9.30 AM and Mangalarpana at 9.45 AM, the Pahandi of the Lords began at 10 AM with the pahandi of Lord Sudarshan in which the Daitapatis took the Lord to the Darpadalan, the chariot of Devi Subhadra.
The Daitapatis later brought Lord Balabhadra on pahandi to his chartiot Taladhwaja after which they carried Devi Subhadra on their shoulders and placed the Goddess on her chariot.
This was followed by the pahandi of Lord Jagannath who moved towards his chariot Nandighosh amid the chants of ‘Jai Jagannath’ reverberating throughout the Bada Danda.
With the mounting of Lord Jagannath, the pahandi of the Lords was concluded at 12.20 PM, about 40 minutes before schedule.
After the pahandi of the three deities, the Daitapatis placed Lord Madan Mohan and Lord Ramakrushna beside Lord Jagannath.
As per the invitation of the Puri Temple Managing Committee, the Shankaracharya of Gobardhan Peeth Swami Nischalananda Saraswati with his disciples mounted the three chariots and had the darshan of the Lords.
After his departure, the Daitapatis performed the Chita Lagi and Vesha Sesha rituals of the Lords which were completed at 1.45 PM.
The Chhera Panhara of the three chariots was conducted by the Gajapati King Divyasingh Dev, who came from his royal palace in a palanquin. After the Chhera Panhara was over at 3 PM, the Daitapatis withdrew the Charamala (the ladder) from the chariots and put wooden horses and sarathis.
This was followed by the pulling of the chariot of Lord Balabhadra which began at 3.35 PM.
After 45 minutes, chariot of Devi Subhadra was pulled at 4.20 PM while the devotees pulled the chariot of Lord Jagannath one hour later at 5.20 PM.