Ramakanta Biswas

The Pahuda ritual at Lord Jagannath temple in Puri was delayed and held late on Thursday night leading to an unprecedented rush of devotees on Friday morning.  

As per sources, the Pahuda ritual, which was supposed to be held last night, was completed only today morning. 

Initially, Saraswati Puja and Chacheri Besha of Lord Jagannath got delayed yesterday. As a result, the Pahuda ritual was performed at 5. 5 am. Subsequently, the Dwaraphita ritual was also delayed.

The first Niti or ritual of Srimandir begins in the early morning with the opening of the doors or Dwaraphita niti. The doors of the sanctum are to be opened by 4.30 am as per the Record of Rights of the temple. 

However, today, the Dwaraphita ritual was held at 7 am and subsequently, devotees were allowed inside the shrine. 

It is expected that the impact of the delay will fall on today's rituals too and certain rituals may be performed late. 

As per the Record of Rights of the temple, Dwaraphita ritual is performed in the presence of five servitors-Bhitarchha Mahapatra, Pratihari, Muduli, Akhanda Mekap and Palia Mekap. The doors are opened after Bhitarchha Mahapatra examines the seal, placed on the padlocks on the previous night by another servitor known as Talichha Mahapatra.

If the seal is intact, he breaks it, unlocks the padlock and opens the door. In the same way, the door of the inner sanctuary (Kalahat Dwara) is also opened. 

The subsequent ritual after Dwaraphita is Mangala Alati which is performed at 5.30 am. There are three types of Alati known as 'Karpura alati', 'Bati alati' and 'Pithau alati'.