Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Mar 18:
The meeting of the managing committee of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) in Odisha’s pilgrim town Puri today approved an annual budget of Rs 239 crore and the schedule for the long Nabakalebara process starting from the Banajaga Yatra beginning on March 29 to the Rath Yatra on July 18.
As per the schedule approved at the meeting chaired by Puri king Gajapati Dibya Singha Dev, the Banajaga Yatra, which would leave Puri on March 29, would spend the night at Deuli Mutt on April 2 and reach the Maa Mangala temple in Kakatpur the following day.
The Brahma Paribartan (infusion of soul into the new bodies of the deities) would take place on June 15 while the Nabajaubana Darshan (the first sight of the deities in their new bodies) would take place on July 17, a day ahead of the Rath Yatra, SJTA chief administrator Suresh Mohapatra said after the meeting.
The Rs 239 crore budget approved at today’s meeting would be spent on upgradation of infrastructure at the temple, augment lodging facilities for pilgrims visiting the town and welfare of the servitors, he said.
Earlier, the Gajapati king had given his approval for holding of the Nabakalebara Mahotsav of the Lords this year at a meeting of the Chhatisa Niyog (confederation of servitor bodies of the Shree Jagannath temple) held at the Srinaar (Puri king’s palace) on Tuesday.
During the course of Tuesday’s meeting of the Chhatisa Niyog, it was informed that Shankaracharya of Govardhan Peeth Swami Nischalananda Saraswati had given his consent on Monday for holding of the Nabakalebara of the Lords.
Gajapati Dibya Singha Dev asked the member from the Shree Mandir Mukti Mandap Pandit Shabha whether this year has consecutive asadha months or not. The member replied in the affirmative after which Dev formally gave his approval for holding of the Nabakalebara Yatra of the Lords this year.
The Gajapati’s approval for holding of the Nabakalebara Yatra is considered by temple servitors as ‘chhamu chithau’ (or the king’s order).
The Chhatisa Niyog ‘s proposal for holding of the Nabakalebara and the ‘chhamu chithau’ will be presented in today’s meeting of the temple managing committee. After its approval, a formal notification for Nabakalebara-2015 will be issued as per standard procedure.
Internal wrangling within the Chhatisa Nijog was out in the open at yesterday’s meeting as members of different Nijogs (servitor bodies) traded charges against each other. As charges and counter charges flew thick and fast, the managing committee member and Daitapati Nijog secretary left the meeting half way.