Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Banajaga Yatra, undertaken for the Nabakalebara of the idols at Sharana Srikshetra in Dhenkanal’s Ekagharia, was stopped on Monday by the temple trust following stiff opposition from Jagannath devotees and the Daitapati Nijog at Srimandir in Puri.

Terming the event ‘untimely’ and against the tradition of Srimandir, the Daitapati Nijog filed an FIR at the Singhadwar Police station in Puri on Sunday.

Nijog functionaries raised objections over the move and stated, “The Nabakalebra and associated Banajaga Yatra is held as per the Srimandir tradistion and any violation of the rules will not be tolerated.”

President of the Nijog, Ramakrushna Das Mohapatra told reporters, “Strict action should be taken against the erring temple authorities by the district administration. An FIR has already been lodged demanding action against the people who broke law by undertaking the untimely Yatra. We will seek intervention by the district authorities, the Chief Minister and the Gajapati Maharaj. We want the government to bring a law on this so that nobody can break the rules in the future and the untimely Rath Yatras and Nabakalebaras are stopped,” he said.

following the uproar in Srimandir, the priests and temple trust authorities in Dhenkanal who undertook the Banajaga Yatra have stopped the ritual and returned home.

The Chief Priest of Sharan Srikshetra, Chintu Baba apologised profusely for the wrong doing and sought apologies to the Srimandir.

“It was a mistake and I am really sorry for that. We have stopped all the programmes related to Banajaga Yatra. The devotees have been told to return,” said Chintu Baba.

“We never intended to hurt the sentiments of the devotees or break any tradition. Our soul aim was to spread the goodwill of Jagannath culture. We have already stopped everything here. Any further rituals will be conducted after getting permission from the Srimandir,” he added.

Worthwhile to mention here that the Nabakalebara of the Holy Trinity is carried out as per the dates mentioned in the Madala Panji. When the dates are announced, a team of priests from Srimandir venture in to the woods in search of the holy logs which is then carved into the Idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Sudarshan. This is the time when all the Jagannath temples around the world perform their Nabakalebara and Banajaga Yatra rituals too