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Rashmi Rekha Das

The wait is finally over. With a day left for Lord Jagannath’s annual sojourn, devotees just cannot wait to see the glimpse of the Trinity atop three chariots. Police and district administration seem to have left no stone unturned for the smooth conduct of Rath Yatra. On the other hand, chariot construction work has reached the final stage and chariots will be completely readied by Friday to take deities on a trip to their aunt’s house. 

On Wednesday, Lord Jagannath and His siblings gave darshan to their devotees after falling sick for 15 days. Devotees heaved a sigh of relief after having darshan of the deities in their youthful looks (Nabajoubana besha). 

Sources said, “thousands of devotees soaked in devotion thronged Srikhetra Puri on Wednesday to get a glimpse of the Holy Trinity Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra who have appeared in a rejuvenated and youthful vigour after coming out of the Anasara ghara (sick room). The ritual is famously known as Nabajouban Darshan of the deities.

The deities were under treatment for fever at Anasara Ghara after Snana Purnima (bathing) ritual on June 24. They have reappeared in their rejuvenated youthful form after recovering from fever on Nabajouban Darshan.

It is learnt that parimanik darshan ritual was held in the morning at 7.15 am after competition of Abakasa, Dasabatara and Dian Bahuda rituals. Devotees were allowed to enter the temple through the south door. Devotees were seen having peaceful darshan as the administration has not made restrictions like past two years. 

Binayak Das Mohapatra, a senior servitor said, “Nabajoubana darshan is being continued as per the earlier scheduled timing and will continue till 12am. Ubha Yatra will be conducted tomorrow which means devotees can get the darshan of deities on Friday. Now, Biswakarma, Bhoi, Rupakara and Darji servitors are giving finishing touches to chariots.”

Another servitor said, “Legend has it that the sight of Lord Jagannath and His siblings at Gundicha Temple cannot go in vain. Because it is equivalent to the boon of a hundred horse sacrifices, which only the luckiest of kings had the privilege to have performed in the olden days. Lord Jagannath will have a divine union with his devotees after a gap of two years for which police have taken enough measures to make Rath Yatra a smooth affair.” 
Keeping the inflow of lakhs of devotees and to avoid possible terror activities, a mock drill was conducted by a tactical unit. 

Meanwhile, special relief commissioner Pradip Kumar Jena made face masks compulsory for devotees keeping the rise in Covid-19 cases in mind. “Also, people suffering from cold, cough and fever are advised not to take part in the Rath Yatra as part of measures to contain the disease from spreading,” said Jena.

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