Odishatv Bureau

Pahandi originates from Sanskrit word Padamundam, which in local dialect means a slow step-by-step movement with the spreading of the feet. And Bije means a procession of the king or the Gods. Pahandi literally means going forward in a step-by-step movement to the accompaniment of several devotees beating the Ghanta, Kahali and telingi baja. 

Pahandi is of two types-Dhadi Pahandi and Goti Pahandi. 

Dhadi Pahandi takes places when the deities are taken out one after the other in such a way that they walk in a line. All the four Gods- Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra, Lord Jagannath and Lord Sudarshan - can be seen in this pahandi. This type of pahandi is seen during Rath Yatra. The deities are taken out of the sanctum sanctorum following the order of Lord Sudarshan, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and lastly Lord Jagannath in a ceremonial procession amidst the beat of cymbals and chants of hymns. 

In the case of Goti Pahandi, which happens at the time of Adapa Mandap Bije and Niladri Bije, one God is taken to the ‘Adapa Mandap’ or to the ‘Ratna Singhashan’ after another. After one God is seated on the Mandap, procession of others begins. 

Lord Sudarshan and Devi Subhadra don’t have arms. So they are carried in a reclining position. However, the servitors keep in mind that the idols do not touch the ground.  During the ‘Pahandi’, since the idols of Lord Balabhadra and Lord Jagannath are quite heavy, they are put on the ground from time to time. In other words, it can be said they take steps during the ceremonial procession. A large pillow is tied to the bottom of the idols to protect them from sustaining any damage when they are rested on the ground. They take steps. Also, since the idols of Lord Jagannath and Balabhadra are quite heavy, a wooden cross is fixed to the idols and thick silken ropes are tied around their heads and waists for the ceremony. This particular ritual is known as Senapata Lagi.