Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kanakpur (Jagatsinghpur), Apr 17:
Six days after the identification of daru for Lord Sudarshan at Gadakuntunia village under Balianta block on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, the daru for Lord Balabhadra was identified near the temple of Goddess Sarala at Jhankada in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district today.
The Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) made a formal announcement to this effect this morning after being briefed by the Banajaga dalapati (team leader) Haladhara Dasmohapatra in the late night on Thursday.
The Banajaga dalapati informed the SJTA chief administrator Suresh Chandra Mohapatra after examining the symptoms of the daru for Lord Balabhadra and consulting with the Banajaga daitapatis.
“SJTA made formal announcement after receiving the letter from the dalapati on the identification of daru for Lord Balabhadra in the late night yesterday. I reached the temple of Goddess Salara early this morning with senior police officers. We have finalised the location for construction of Sabarapalli for the stay of the Banajaga yatris and yajna peetha near the daru for rituals work for which has already begun. Besides, we also discussed about the security and traffic arrangements”, Mohapatra said.
He said as the remaining Banajaga yatris along with the Stotriya Brahmins and Biswabasu are expected to arrive here from Gadakuntunia by April 19 or 20 to perform the rituals, efforts are on to complete the ongoing works.
“As per the instruction of Maa Mangala, we traced the daru of Lord Balabhadra with all symbols found in it near the temple of Goddess Sarala. The Banajaga team, after completing the rituals of the daru of Lord Sudarshan at Gadakuntunia village, will reach here by April 21 or 22. After completing initial works, we will start the yajna.
Talking to the media, Jagatsinghpur collector Satya Mallick said the district administration, in consultation with the SJTA and police officials, has started work for construction of Sabarapalli for the Banajaga yatris, yajna mandap. Besides, for the protection of daru, two-way iron barricading work has started so that the devotees can have the smooth darshan of the daru.
IG, (Eastern) Asit Panigrahi, who was present at the Sarala temple, said keeping the massive footfall of devotees, efforts are being made for smooth traffic arrangements.
“Since we expect that there would be a large congregation of people, we have identified parking places the vehicles coming from Balikuda, Jagatsinghpur, Paradip, Kendrapara and Cuttack where policemen have been deployed. For maintenance of law and order, 15 platoons of police force would be deployed under the supervision of the district SP, magistrate, two additional SPs, 53 Sub Inspectors and nine Inspectors. We will also deploy more police forces if necessary. The entire security provision is being monitored by the Director General of Police (DGP)”, Panigrahi said.
Reliable sources said there was a tug of war between two sections of daitapatis over the selection of daru for Lord Balabhadra till late night hours on Thursday at Gadakuntunia.
There was a debate among the daitapatis on the identification of daru for Lord Balabhadra at Sarala temple for some days.
While some senior daitapatis including Jagannath Swain Mohapatra and Ramachandra Dasmohapatra were of the opinion that the daru is not fit for Lord Balabhadra as the tree is nailed with advertisement board.
While the debate was underway, the SJTA chief administrator, in a press briefing on Wednesday had said no decision has been taken for the selection of this tree as daru for the Lord.
However, a day after his announcement, the Banajaga dalapati selected the tree as the daru for the Lord.