Lakhs of devotees witness ‘Sunabesa’

Puri: Amidst tight security, lakhs of devotees from across the country today witnessed Sunabesa (golden attire) of Lord Jagannath here, held a day after the three chariots reached the main temple ending the nine-day Rath Yatra festival.

Though this is the first Sunabesa of the new deities after the Nabakalebar (new body), Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath used to put on golden attire on the chariots every year in the “Ekadashi Tithi” of “Asadha”.

While on their chariots the trinity wore hands, arms and crown ornaments made of solid gold. They are also decorated with gold diadems, hands and feet made of gold.

While the Lord Jagannath holds a gold disc (Chakra) in his right hand and a silver conch in his left hand, Lord Balabhadra holds a golden plough in his left hand and a golden mace in his right hand. Above 130 types of golden ornaments are used in the Sunabesa celebration, a priest said.

Keeping in view the importance of the day and massive turn out at the holy town, the Odisha police had made adequate arrangement to ensure smooth ‘darshan’ of the deities. One- way barricade is made for entry and exit of devotees who moved in a queue.

“A special barricade was also made around the three chariots where the armed policemen were deployed in security point of view. Magistrates are also posted inside the barricade,” said S C Mohapatra, the chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA).

The Odisha police made elaborate security arrangement for the ocassion by deplying about 10,000 personnel for the smooth conduct of the Sunabesa ritual, said DGP Sanjeev Marik.

Sources said the devotees will be allowed to have darshan of the deities till 11 pm while the servitors, during the period, would perform the Sandhya Dhupa and Sunabesa Mailam.

The Chandana Lagi ritual will be followed by Badasinghara Besa and Ballabha Badasinghara Besa.