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Dilip Kumar

The Holy Trinity - Lord Jagannath and his divine siblings Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra will enter the sanctum sanctorum of Srimandir in a special ritual called 'Niladri Bije' today, marking the end of their nine-day long sojourn to aunt's house.

It was for the second consecutive time that the entire festival beginning from Gundicha Jatra to Bahuda and Suna Besha was held without devotees due to Covid pandemic.

Both Gundicha and Bahuda Jatra, which used to witness million of devotees every year, were conducted by the servitors amid a thick security cover this year like the previous event.

After the 'Adharapana' was offered to the deities on chariots yesterday, the 'Niladri Bije' will be conducted by the servitors in absence of public.

The deities will be taken to the Srimandir in a ceremonial procession called Goti Pahandi. The ritual is scheduled to be conducted in the afternoon.

Rituals like Mangala Alati, Mailama, Sakaladhupa, Madhyanna Dhupa, Sandhya Alati and Sandhaya Dhupa will be performed on the chariots today. All the rituals will be followed by the Charamala tying. Later, the Goti Pahandi will begin.

The Pahandi ritual is scheduled to begin at 4 pm and will conclude at 10 pm. However, the rituals are expected to start early as all other rituals during the Ratha Jatra were conducted much before the scheduled time.

The Niladri Bije ritual will not be smooth affair for the deities as goddess Laxmi will obstruct the Pahandi ritual of Lord Jagannath for leaving her behind in the temple while going to his aunt’s house along with her brother and sister.

As per legend, Lord Jagannath will offer ‘Rasagola’ to appease her, the ritual which is called Mana Bhanjan. Later, the deities will be allowed to proceed to the shrine.

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