Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, June 1:
Puri, the holy town of Odisha, is all set for tomorrow’s snana yatra (bathing festival) where at least four lakh devotees are expected to witness the presiding deities of Shree Jagannath temple in their present form one last time before they acquire their new forms in this Nabakalebara year.
Nabakalebara involves the replacement of the idols of Lord Balabhadra, Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Sudarshan with newly carved ones after infusion of Brahman – the soul – into them.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made by the district administration to maintain law and order and ensure smooth passage of the darshan.
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. In addition to this, multi-location parking facilities have been made in the city to ease congestion.
“Apart from security arrangements, we have made parking facilities at Jagannath Ballav Mutt premises and Saradhabali. First priority will be given to Jagannath Ballav Mutt parking which is closer to the temple. After this space is occupied, we would divert the traffic to Saradhabali parking lot,” said Asish Kumar Singh, Puri SP.
Apart from the snana ritual of the deities, the darus–holy timber to be converted to idols—will also be given a holy bath.
The rituals of snana yatra would begin after mangalarpan at 5 AM tomorrow. The sahana mela darshan is scheduled to begin from 6 PM and continue till 9.30 PM.
While 108 pitchers of consecrated water are poured on the deities during the rituals every year, 112 pitchers will be used for snana ritual of which four will be used for the snana of the darus.