Pradeep Pattanayak

In an unfortunate turn of events, Lord Balabhadra slipped on the ‘Charamala’ while being taken off His Taladhwaja chariot to the ‘Adapa Mandap’ of Gundicha temple in ‘goti pahandi’ on Tuesday. 

After certain rituals on the chariots were completed, the ‘Pahandi’ ritual began. After Lord Sudarshan, Lord Balabhadra was being taken to ‘Adapa Mandap’ in ‘Pahandi’. While coming down on the ‘Charamala’, Lord Balabhadra slipped. However, the servitors immediately managed to bring Him back to His earlier position. 

In the mishap, around seven servitors were said to have suffered injuries and were rushed to the hospital.

Senior servitor Damodar Padhani said, “What happened today is definitely a mishap. The fault of the servitors can’t be ruled out. The ‘Pahandi’ ritual involves carrying the deities on ‘Charamala’ which is an uneven surface. So, the servitors need to be trained. And, a list of servitors for ‘Pahandi’ should be prepared and there should be a leader for each deity who would guide others.  

“Earlier, during ‘Pahandi’, well-built servitors would be there behind and in front of the deities. And, whenever such a situation happened, they would manage it. Today, the servitors in front of the deity couldn’t hold the deity. And those behind the deity also failed to pull the rope properly,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mohan Majhi expressed sorrow over the incident and wished speedy recovery of the injured servitors. He also directed Deputy Chief Minister Pravati Parida and Law Minister Prithiviraj Harichandan to go to Puri to take stock of the situation.

“Of the injured ones, some have already resumed their service after receiving first aid. Of the three undergoing treatment, two are doing well. The third one will also recover soon. We should assume the incident as the ‘leela’ of ‘Mahaprabhu’, ” said Law Minister Prithiviraj Harichandan.

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