Pradeep Pattanayak

After remaining secluded for 14 days in Anasara Ghara, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra have reappeared and are giving darshan in youthful appearance to countless devotees on the occasion of Nabajouban Darshan today. 

As per the timetable, the Parimanik Ticket Darshan started at 8 am and will continue for an hour. The Parimanik Darshan ticket holders will enter the shrine through the South Gate. Similarly, the Sahanamela Darshan will start at 9 am and will continue till 11 am. For Sahanamela Darshan, devotees will enter the temple through the Lion’s Gate and come out through the North Gate. 

After 11 am, there will be no darshan of the Holy Trinity. Devotees can move around in the inner compound and can have darshan of side deities. 

The preparations for the world-famous Rath Yatra tomorrow are at their last stage. Today, all the three chariots will be pulled from the rath yard to the front of Srimandir. They will be pulled only after receiving angyan malas (divine garlands of consent) from the three ‘badas’. 

On this day, the eyeballs of the deities are painted by their respective priests. Prior to ‘Nabajouban Darshan’ ritual, ‘Banakalagi’ or ‘Srimumkha Sringara’ ritual is performed. In simple terms, it can be described as the ‘repainting of deities’. Fresh coat of colours is applied to the idols of the deities. 

Traditionally, this secret ritual is performed by Dutta Mohapatra and Khadiparasad Daitapati servitors. Different types of natural colours like Hingula, Haritala, Kasturi, Keshara, glue of kaitha (wood apple). The servitors paint the eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes, mouths and noses of the deities. But the eyeballs are painted at the end, with black colour.    

Then the deities appear before their devotees on Nabajouban Darshan or Netrotsav. Lakhs of devotees throng the pilgrim city to have a glimpse of their rejuvenated Gods. 

The police administration has made elaborate security arrangements for the car festival. As many as 60 platoon forces have been deployed to maintain law and order. A special traffic mobility plan is also in place. As per this plan, the Puri town has been divided into 14 zones and 29 sectors.

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