Rashmi Rekha Das

Padma Besha of Lord Jagannath and his siblings will be held tonight on the temple premises for which preparations have reached the last stage. 

Lakhs of devotees are expected to throng Srimmandir to witness the Trinity in this attire.

Padma Besha, one of the iconic attire rituals of the deities of Lord Balabhadra, Jagannath and Devi Subhadra, is held once every year either on Saturday or Wednesday between the New Moon day of Magha month and the Basant Panchami.

According to sources, as per long-followed tradition, the deities spend their bedtime (pahuda) every day with Bada Singhar outfits. However, Padma Besha ritual is an exception. On this day the deities go to sleep with Padma Besha. It is the only occasion when the deities are bedecked with different attire which resembles much like lotus flowers and hence the ritual is called Padma Besha.

Devotees get chance to see the beautiful Besha of Lord Jagannath on the following day after Mangala Alati rituals.

The Bada Chhata Mutt every year provides all necessary materials for the preparation of the attire made of thermocol. Singari servitors decorate the Trinity with lotus flowers and other ornaments.

It is learnt that Bhubaneswar-based Chintamani Das has been providing lotus as per requirement for many years. 

Singari servitor Basant Rana said, “We have come up with four swans and 80 small lotus flowers made of thermocol for decorating the Trinity. Apart from thermocol, silver, golden threads, plants, cotton cloth, gum of wood apple and colours are used in the decoration.”

Sri Jagannath Culture researcher Nilamani Guru said, “Lord Jagannath is himself a lotus flower. This Besha is offered in Lord Jagannath in commemoration of great devotee Manohar Das. Going by the legend, Das had plucked fresh lotus flowers for Lord Jagannath. By the time he reached Puri after a long journey, all the flowers had dried. He became sad and became faint. Then Lord Jagannath came to his dream and turned dried lotus flowers into blossomed fresh flowers. Since then this Padma Besha is offered to Lord Jagannath in commemoration of his devotee Manohar Das. Kakara and kheeri are offered to Trinity on the occasion.” 

Reported by Madhusudan Mishra, OTV