Puri: With the beginning of ‘Anasara’ period from today (15-day-long period during which Holy Trinity stays away from public darshan) after the conclusion of Deba Snana Purnima rituals in Puri Srimandir yesterday, devotees have started thronging Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri to seek blessings of Lord Alarnath, an avatar of Lord Jagannath.
Today on the first day of Anasara period, thousands of devotees flocked the 12th-century shrine of Lord Alarnath amid tight security. District administration has made elaborate arrangements for smooth conduct of rituals and public darshan at the shrine.
Narayan Puja Panda of the Alarnath temple said, "All rituals are being conducted in a smooth manner and devotees can have darshan of the deities from 5 am till late night every day. The special 'Khiri Bhoga' is another major attraction for devotees during the time."
It may be noted that, Lord Jagannath and his sibling deities remain out of bounds for public darshan for 15 days from the day after Snana Purnima. It is believed that the deities fall sick after their holy bath with 108 pots of aromatic water on the day of Snana Purnima. The deities undergo recuperation with Gupta Niti (secret rituals) under the supervision of Raja Vaidya during this period and give darshan to the devotees on Netra Utsav before embarking on Rath Yatra, the annual sojourn to Mausi Maa temple.
It is believed that Lord Jagannath manifests in the form of Lord Alarnath during the Anasara period and all rituals conducted for the Holy Trinity at Puri Srimandir is performed at Alarnath shrine.
Carved out of black marble, the idol worshipped at the Alarnath temple has four arms holding conch, club, lotus and chakra just like all avatars of Lord Vishnu. The patta paintings known as ‘Patti Diyan’ of Balabhdra in the form of Ananta Vasudev, Devi Subhadra in the form of Bhubaneswari are worshipped in the 12th-century shrine during the Anasara period.
Apart from them, as many as 10 avatars including Dolagobinda, Nrusingha, Madan Mohan, Bhudevi, Sridevi and Ramakrushna will also be worshipped at the shrine during the period.