Odisha: Thousands Throng Puri To Witness Lord Jagannath's Bathing Rituals

Thousands of devotees on Saturday congregated at the seaside town of Puri in Odisha to witness Lord Jagannath's 'Snana Jatra' or bathing rituals at the 12th-century temple.

The sibling deities of Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath, along with Chakraraj Sudarshan, were brought to the 'Snana Mandap' or the bathing altar on the premises of the temple where 108 pitchers of sacred water were poured on them.

While Lord Jagannath was bathed with 35 pitchers of water, Lord Balabhadra was bathed with 33 pitchers, Devi Subhadra with 22 pitchers and Chakraraj Sudarshan with 18 pitchers.

The water was fetched from the 'Suna Kua' or the golden well in the temple.

The water was added with herbal and aromatic essence before being poured on the deities at 'Snana Bedi'. The ritual marks the beginning of the annual Rath Yatra festival.

Gajapati Maharaja or Puri's titular king Dibyasingha Deb performed 'Chhera Panhara' (sweeping) ritual at 'Snana Mandap' immediately after the bathing ritual, said Pandit Suryanarayan Rathsarma, a researcher of Jagannath culture.

After the completion of 'Chhera Panhara', the deities were adorned with 'Hati Besa' (elephant attire) at the 'Snana Bedi'.

The elephant attire and the special costumes on the occasion are traditionally prepared by the artisans at Raghaba Das Mutt and Gopal Tirtha Mutt.

As per belief, the deities fall sick due to excessive bathing and are taken to 'Anasara Gruha' (isolation room).

The deities would now be quarantined for 14 days at the 'Anasara Gruha'. The devotees are not allowed to visit the deities during this period. Upon their recovery, the deities reappear before the devotees on the occasion of 'Nabajauban Darshan'.

Around 68 platoons (1 platoon comprise 30 personnel) of policemen were deployed and elaborate arrangements were made for smooth 'darshan'. Most of the devotees had glimpse of the deities from 'Bada Danda', the grand road in front of the temple.

(This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. Apart from the headline, no editing has been done in the copy by ABP Live.)

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