Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jun 19:
Puri, the holy town of Odisha, is all set for tomorrow’s Snana Yatra (bathing festival of Lord Jagannath and his siblings), this being the first Snana Yatra of the presiding deities of Shree Jagannath temple in their present form- the first time after they acquired their new forms last year after Nabakalebara.
Nabakalebara involved the replacement of the idols of Lord Balabhadra, Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Sudarshan with newly carved ones after infusion of Brahman – the soul – into them.
In view of the large footfall of devotees for the grand festival wherein devotees have a chance to have a close darshan (glimpse) of the Lords, elaborate security arrangements have been made by the district administration to maintain law and order and ensure smooth passage of the darshan. However, this year touching of the deities by devotees has been banned by the temple administration.
Barricades have been erected and an adequate number of policemen will be deployed to prevent a stampede and facilitate disciplined movement of the crowd through the Lion’s Gate to the Snana Mandap (bathing altar/pedestal).
In addition to the above, to ease traffic congestion whole of Puri district has been divided into four zones-of which three are for traffic within the city and the fourth is outside of the city for outside traffic.
“We have divided the whole of Puri district into four zones for smooth control and flow of traffic. While three are within the city, the fourth is outside the city. An efficient inspector and deputy superintendent of police or an assistant commandant will remain in-charge of each of the three zones. Samjajpur railway over bridge has been closed for traffic; hence, there will be no movement of traffic on it. Traffic will be routed through the level crossing as is being currently done,” informed Lingaraj Mishra, deputy commandant, Traffic briefing reporters on the traffic control arrangements for the Snana Yatra.
The rituals of Snana Yatra would begin after mangalarpan at 3.30 AM tomorrow. Following which the temple administration has planned begin pahandi (carrying of the deities to the Snana Mandap sequentially from 4 AM.
“Rituals of the Snana Yatra will begin after mangalarpan at 3.30 AM. Doralagi and Dhadi Pahandi (procession in a queue) of the Lords to the Snana Mandap (bathing pedestal) is scheduled to begin at 4 AM. We hope to complete the pahandi by 6 AM,” Pradip Kumar Das, Niti Prasasak (ritual administrator) of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA)
“The bathing ritual would be held between 9.30 AM and 12 PM in which 108 pitchers of scented water would be poured on the deities. This would be followed by ‘chhera panhara’ ritual of the Snana Mandap by the Gajapati King of Puri between 12.30 PM and 1 PM. Thereafter, the servitors would perform ‘Hati Vesa’ (elephant attire) of the deities between 1 PM and 3 PM. The devotees will have Sahana Mela (open) darshan of the deities from 6 PM to 11 PM,” he added.
Sahana Mela of the Lords will stop at 11 PM and the Lords will retire to the anabasara pindi (part of sanctum sanctorum where the Lords convalesce on falling sick after the bath) said Binayak Dasmahapatra, assistant secretary of Daitapati Nijog