Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kharipadia/ Bhubaneswar, May 10:
Lord Jagannath’s daru, the giant neem tree with special attributes identified at Kharipadia in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district, fell to the ground on Saturday after around four hours of laborious felling by Biswakarma (carpenter) servitors to the chants of Haribol, ululation, singing of hymns and beats of cymbals and mridangas.
Fortunately, the mother owl and her two owlets that had built a nest on the neem tree raising concerns over their safety among wildlife lovers once the tree is felled are safe. While the mother owl was seen perched atop a nearby coconut palm tree, the owlets were safely rescued by the Forest department officials present there.
The felling of the giant neem tree that had transformed into mahadaru after completion of the purnaahuti at the mahayagna began after a secret ritual and ceremonial token touching of the golden axe by Vidyapati and followed by Biswabasu with the silver axe.
Subsequently, Biswakarma servitors axed the tree to the ground using iron axes. It took around four hours of axing by Biswakarma servitors to bring the tree to the ground.
The atmosphere at Kharipadia remained charged with spirituality with chanting of hymns and ululation by devotees, who had been streaming to the place since day break and mantras by stotriya Brahmins at the mahayagna mandap.
Earlier in the day even some devotees in frenzy had broken into the barricade put up by the police. However, the situation was quickly brought under control with police bolstering the barricades.
Meanwhile, Devi Subhadra’s ‘daru’, which had reached Pandra on the outskirts of the capital city by yesterday night, is on its way to Puri after halting there for the night.
Early morning, devotees pulled the sagadi carrying the daru up to Sai Temple at Tankapani roa. The sagadi resumed its journey towards Puri again in the afternoon.
Thousands of devotees are gathering on the route to take a glimpse of the daru which has been on its journey towards Shree Mandir from Adhangagada in Jagatsinghpur.
The Bhubaneswar-Puri national highway appeared to have temporariyl transformed into the Badadanda of Puri during the Rath yatra.
The crowd of devotees seeking to have a glimpse of Devi Subhadra’s daru sagadi was so large on both sides of the national highway from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar yesterday evening that traffic officials were shifted from major traffic posts in the capital city to manage traffic on the national highway leading to complete chaos in many places within the city.
It was as if traffic personnel had gone on a cease work. Traffic posts at 15 important locations including Big Bazaar Square, Ram Mandir Square, Capital Hospital Square and the square on the Airport road were lying vacant.
Evening hours being rush hour,s the motorists had to find their way out from the snarls on their own. While bikers managed to make their way out of the logjam, four wheelers were stuck for hours honking incessantly leading to noise pollution. However, a few good Samaritans came to the rescue of those stuck in the traffic jam and donned the mantle of traffic cops temporarily.
Interestingly, none of the traffic volunteers roped in by the Commissionerate Police to regulate traffic in the city were seen in any of the locations.