The preparations for the Bahuda Yatra (return journey) of Lord Jagannath and his siblings have started in Puri with the observance of the ‘Dakshina Moda’ ritual on Sunday.
The ‘Dakshina Moda’ ritual is associated with the chariots. Since Rath Yatra, the three chariots parked in front of Gundicha temple were facing north. For the return journey, the chariots were turned south toward the Jagannath Temple. So the ritual gets its name ‘Dakshina Moda or southward turn.
Informing about the tradition, the head carpenter of Lord Jagannath’s chariot Nandighosha Bijay Mohapatra said, “The day after Hera Panchami, the three chariots are turned south facing toward the Jagannath temple. The ritual is performed only after receiving the Angyan Mala (divine garland of consent).”
“Today, after receiving the Angyan Malas, they were tied to each of the chariots. First, Devi Subhadra’s chariot Darpadalana was turned south, followed by Lord Balabhadra’s Taladhwaja and Lord Jagannath’s Nandighosha chariots,” informed Mohapatra.
The officers and staff of the Srimandir and policemen pulled the chariots from the Gundicha temple to the Nakachana Dwar. During this ritual, devotees are generally not allowed to pull the chariots since the chariots are required to be pulled forward and backward to keep them at the proper places. But, the ritual is observed with charioteers, known as ‘Dahukas’ atop their respective chariots.
The sibling deities ‘Bahuda Yatra’ will take place on June 28.