Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jun 2:
Lakhs of devotees witnessed the pahandi (procession) of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Sudarshan to the snana mandap (bathing altar) facing the Bada Danda (Grand Road) in Odisha’s Puri town this morning.
As per the schedule, the Daitapati servitors performed the Mangalarpana of the Lords at the Ratna Simhasan inside the sanctum sanctorum at 5 AM.
This was followed by other rituals like the Dora Lagi and Pushpanjali.
The servitors later took the deities on dhadi pahandi to the Snana Mandap. The pahandi was completed at 9.30 AM.
As per tradition, the members of Suna Gosain family collected water in 108 pitchers from the Suna Kua (well) near Maa Shitala inside the Uttara Dwara (north gate) of the temple a day before the Snana Yatra. The pitchers were later taken to Ghenanla Ghara where the water would be added with chua, chandan and karpura.
Later, the pitchers would be brought to the Snana Mandap where the Daitapati servitors would bathe Lord Jagannath with 35 pitchers, Lord Balabhadra with 33 pitchers, Devi Subhadra with 22 pitchers and Lord Sudarshan with 18 pitchers.
Apart from 108 pitchers, four additional pitchers would be used for the bath of the darus at the Koili Baikuntha.
The sahana mela darshan is scheduled to begin from 6 PM and continue till 9.30 PM.
To ensure smooth conduct of the festival, the district administration has made elaborate security arrangements.
As informed by Puri SP Ashish Kumar Singh, barricades have been erected to prevent stampede and facilitate disciplined movement of the crowd through the Lion’s Gate to the snana mandap (bathing altar) from which the devotees would exit through the North gate.
At least 205 sections of security personnel will be deployed outside and in the premises of the temple. Besides, multi-location parking facilities have been made in the city to ease congestion.