Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jul 18:
The much-awaited first Nabakalebara Rath Yatra of the 21st Century began in the holy town of Puri in Odisha this morning with religious fervour and fanfare among the lakhs of devotees who assembled at the Bada Danda (Grand Road) to witness the grand festivity.
The festivity began after the temple servitors 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 at 7.30 AM.
The Lords were later offered with Gopala Ballav and Sakala Dhupa (Khechudi Bhoga) between 8 AM and 9 AM.
After the Ratha (chariot) Pratisha 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 the entire stretch of Bada Danda.
With the mounting of Lord Jagannath, the pahandi of the Lords was concluded at 12.20 PM, about 40 minutes before the schedule.
After the pahandi of the three deities, the Daitapatis would place Lord Madan Mohan beside Lord Jagannath.
As per the schedule, the Chita Lagi ritual of the Loards would be held between 1 PM and 1.30 PM and the Vesha Sesha at 1.45 PM.
This would be followed by the Chhera Panhara by the Gajapati King Divyasingh Dev atop the chariots between 2 PM and 3 PM after which Charamala Phita (withdrawing the ladders from the chariots) and Ghoda Sarathi Lagi would be held between 2.30 PM and 3.30 PM.
The pulling of the three chariots (Rathatana) would begin at 3.30 PM.