Rashmi Rekha Das

Lord Jagannath temple witnessed a huge rush on the very first day of Panchuka. The last five days of the holy month of Kartika are called Panchuka during which most of the people in Odisha abstain from consuming non-vegetarian food. Devotees consider visiting Jagannath temple during Panchuka the most auspicious.

Due to heavy rush and delayed temple rituals, devotees had a tough time to get the darshan of Lord Jagannath. Traffic service near Marichikote Square has gone haywire due to jam of devotees who were standing in queue for darshan of the Trinity.

On the other hand, all rituals of Lord Jagannath got delayed causing resentment among devotees. The main gate of Lord Jagannath temple was opened at 5.25 am instead of 3am as earlier. Lord Jagannath’s Lakhmi Narayan Besha was supposed to be completed by 7.30 am but the ritual got completed at 10.30am.

Another reason behind the huge rush outside the Lions’ Gate was the closure of western gate of the temple. Till yesterday devotees were allowed to enter through the western gate but the temple administration prevented devotees from entering into the temple through the gate on Friday. As a result, devotees had to wait for hours in a queue to make entry into the temple, sources said.

It is also learnt that many devotees had to return without having darshan of the Trinity due to chaos.

Mangala arati ritual was supposed to be held at 4am but it was held at 6.05am. Devotees who were making beeline to witness Lakhmi Narayan besha of Lord Jagannath since wee hours of Thursday had to wait for two and more hours extra to get inside the temple and have a glimpse of the deities.

Meanwhile, devotees blame the temple administration responsible for chaos.

Puri Superintendent of Police Kanwar Vishal Singh said, “Devotees were allowed to enter into the temple batch wise.”