Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has asked the servitors of Dutta Mohapatra Nijog to perform the ‘Banakalagi Niti’ of Lord Jagannath and his sibling deities Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra at Puri Srimandir on Wednesday instead of Thursday.

SJTA has also warned that stern action will be taken in case of a violation of the order. The temple administration has further stated that alternative arrangements will be made if the order is not carried out.

Earlier, while the SJTA had fixed Wednesday as the auspicious day for holding Banakalagi Niti of deities, the servitors’ body was pressing hard to conduct the ritual on Thursday.

“As per Satwa Lipi (Records of Rites of Puri Srimandir), ‘Banakalagi Niti’ and ‘Shrimukha Shrungara’ rituals of the deities should be conducted on Thursday. We had requested the administration to conduct the rituals on Thursday as per tradition. However, the administration has ordered us to carry out the rituals on Wednesday,” said Bijaya Dutta Mohapatra, a senior Dutta Mohapatra servitor.

“The Nijog got the letter from the temple administration about the conduct of today’s ritual at around 10 pm on Tuesday. At least 12 hours is required to make necessary preparations for ‘Banakalagi Niti’. We have not yet received the required stuff for the rituals. In this situation, how could the rituals be performed today?” asked Bijaya Dutta Mohapatra.

Notably, the dispute between the temple administration and Dutta Mohapatra Nijog had delayed the conduct of Banakalagi Niti of Lord Jagannath since Niladri Bije following 11-day long Ratha Yatra.

Meanwhile, several devotees have expressed resentment, as they have to get darshan of the faded faces of the Holy Trinity at Srimandir sans ‘Banakalagi Niti’ and Shrimukha Shrungara rituals.

Later, the sources informed that the Banakalagi ritual could not be held on Wednesday too.

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