Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jul 25:
Lakh of devotees had Sandhya Darshan of the Lords, the last at the Adapa Mandap or Gundicha temple, in Odisha’s holy town Puri despite a heavy downpour.
The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) extended the darshan time for the devotees by half an hour till 7.30 PM as devotees braved heavy rains and stood in queues, completely drenched in ankle-deep rain water, waiting to have the darshan of the Lords in the Adapa Mandap one last time in this Nabakalebara year.
The Gundicha temple was closed for devotees at 7.30 PM for the rituals of the Lords, many of them secret, to take place.
Timing restrictions on darshan by devotees was imposed by the SJTA keeping in mind tomorrow’s Bahuda Yatra (Return Car Festival) of the Lords.
“Today was the last darshan of the Lords at the Adapa Mandap or Gundicha temple in the Nabakalebara year. The earlier announced closing of temple for darshan of 7 PM was extended by half an hour till 7.30 PM to facilitate several devotees standing in heavy rain to have darshan of the Lords. The rituals of the Lords from the break of dawn today were held in perfect timing as per the schedule and in an extremely disciplined manner. Lakhs of devotees had darshan of the Lords at the Adapa Mandap today entering the temple through the Simhadwara on the occasion of Sandhya Darshan. By now. Sandhya Dhupa and third Bhoga Mandap has been completed. The Lords will have Rahasa Bije after which the Bada Singhara Besha, bhoga, pahuda, alati will be held and later secret rituals of the Lords connected with tomorrow’s Bahuda Yatra like bahuta ritual will be held in the night,” said Laxmidhar Puja Panda, PRO, SJTA speaking to reporters.
Elaborating on rituals of the Lords scheduled for the Bahuda Yatra Puja tomorrow, Panda said all arrangements have been made by the SJTA for the pahandi bije of the Lords to begin at 12 noon. The SJTA chief administrator is himself present in the temple supervising operations in order to get the rituals completed on time as per schedule.
“We expect that the Lord’s Yatra tomorrow will be held smoothly and in a disciplined manner. The entire administration, district administration, police administration and the temple administration are fully prepared for the smooth conduct of the Lord’s Yatra tomorrow,” said Puja Panda.
“I had very good darshan of the Lords. It’s an experience which I cannot describe in words. Though the queues were serpentine and we had to wait for long, it was worth waiting for,” said a devotee, completely drenched but excited nonetheless.
“I feel extremely happy. I cannot express my happiness. I had thought that I won’t be able to come for darshan. It is His will which brought me here. It’s God himself who gets His devotees,” said a beaming female devotee speaking in Hindi.