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Rashmi Rekha Das

A day before Bahuda Yatra, the deities give their last darshan to the devotees in the Adapa Mandapa of the Gundicha Gruha on Ashada Shukla Navami.  This darshan is known as Sandhya Darshan because a special aarati is performed during the Sandhya Dhupa ritual. 

It is believed that by getting a darshan of the deities during the day hours one gathers blessings but the same increases by ten times if the darshan is done during the Sandhya Dhupa ritual. That’s why devotees irrespective of cast, creed and colour eagerly wait to have Sandhya Darshan of the deities. 

This year, Puri district administration has declared that devotees would be barred from Sandhya Darshan after 4pm which is why resentment is brewing among devotees and servitors. Meanwhile, servitors have demanded the administration to reconsider its decision.

Earlier, devotees used to have Sandhya Darshan till 7pm. This year, the administration reduced the timing of the Sandhya Darshan.

Gourahari Pradhan, a senior servitor said, “On Sandhya Darshan day, devotees should have darshan of the deities in the evening hour, not during the day. There is also a legend behind why Sandhya Darshan should be done in the evening hour.  Lakhs of devotees usually throng to Bada Danda to have Sandhya Darshan to get the blessing of Trinity.  6pm is an ideal time to have Sandhya Darshan. Before 6pm, darshan of the deities cannot be considered Sandhya darshan. The administration should take note of it.”

A devotee said, “Ideally Sandhya Darshan ritual should start from 6pm onwards. As district administration is looking after rituals related to Srimandir and Rath Yatra, it is doing whatever it wants.”

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