Rath Yatra ends with Lords Niladri Bije
--Sunabesha, Bahuda Yatra also held
-- Devotees wait for Lords darshan in person continues
BHUBANESWAR: The 12-day-long world famous RathYatra came to an end in Puri on Friday night with Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra making their Niladri Bije (entry to the Shreemandir).
At late night, the holy siblings were enthroned on the Ratna Singhasan, the bejeweled throne. Before going to bed, they were served Pakhal (soaked rice) as supper, which is not for public sale.
The public can get Abhada (rice dishes) on Saturday, which is famous as Nilachal Abhada. The Abhada makes prominence, as the deities will be offered rice and pulses with varieties of curries for the first time after returning from the Rath Yatra.
During their stay on the chariots, the deities are usually offered fruits, milks and dry foods without rice dishes. After the Bahuda Yatra, the Lords will first taste the home made cuisines in the Shreemandir.
The day was also celebrated as Rasogola day as Lord Jagannath pacified the anguish of Mahalakshmi with the sweetmeat. As Lord Jagannath had visited the Gundicha Temple without taking Mahalakshmi with Him, the Goddess got irritated and blocked His entry to the temple by shutting the Lions’ Gate. Lord Jagannath confessed His mistake and offered her Rasogola. The ritual was also observed during the entry of Lord Jagannath, which is famous as Lakshmi-Narayan Kali (quarrel).
To mark the cheerful return of Lords, quintals of Rasagolas were offered on board the chariots. However, due to Covid restriction on public entry, Rasagola offerings were limited to only servitors, Sadhus of mutts and persons present on duty.
As per schedule, Pahandi Bije began at 4 pm as Lord Sudarshan was first to enter the Shreemandir. Later, the three siblings entered through Goti Pahandi (marching one after another) and were established in the sanctum sanctorum by the Daitapati servitors.
The Daitapati servitors left the temple at night. Notably, Daitapati servitors have only rites during a month starting from Snan Yatra (bathing ceremony) up to the Niladri Bije.
Earlier on Wednesday, decorated in a huge quantity of gold ornaments, apart from beautiful costumes on their bodies, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra displayed them to the public sitting on their chariots during the Suna Besha ritual. However, public was prohibited to the Lions’ Gate area to view the Suna Besha due to Covid restrictions.
As a result, the devotees could watch the proceedings live on their television only. For security of the gold attiries, curfew was enforced around the temple periphery with barricades in all passages to the Lions’ Gate area so that nobody could enter unauthorised.
Although it was not made public about the varieties of invaluable and the exact weight used in the decorations due to security reasons, sources informed that as many as 30 designs weighing around 150 kg of ornaments were used to decorate the deities. The Suna Besha began late, almost an hour after the scheduled time of 4 pm. A limited number of servitors besides security forces and administrative officials were present near the deities due to the Covid restrictions.
On Tuesday, after the nine-day-long holidaying in the Gundicha Temple, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra with their chariots reached the Lions Gate of Shreemandir by evening despite a heavy downpour.
After the arrival of all the chariots, they were kept in a closed barricade. Before departure from the Gundicha temple, Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb offered his traditional Chhera Pahanra rite (sweeping with golden bloom) on the three chariots.
However, for the second consecutive year, devotees were deprived from darshan of the Lords in person due to the second wave of the pandemic in the State.and had to watch the proceedings on television. Their wait for darshan of the Lords in person continues.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has thanked all stakeholders including the servitors, police, Government officials and residents of Puri for smooth conduct of the Rath Yatra.