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Ramakanta Biswas

Puri: Construction of attires for the much-awaited Nagarjuna Besha of Lord Jagannath is undergoing at full speed. Sculptors and artisans are preparing various weapons of the Lord including dagger, shield and sword for the special avatar in the pilgrim city.

"The initiation ceremony for the rare ritual of the Lords commenced from Dusshera and a 10-member team has been carrying out the works in full swing. The construction of Handia, Tati and the complete frame has been finished and about 30 per cent works have been completed," said servitor-cum-artisan Balaram Khuntia.

"The works are being carried with utmost purity and we along with all our family members are ensuring that we maintain that level of sanctity like the Habishyalis during the process. The besha will be conducted in the presence of Bhandar Mekap, Khuntia Mekap and Singhari," he added.

Basant Kumar Rana, chief architecture of Nagarjuna Besa said, "Almost 50 per cent of the frame has been completed. Thermocol, cloth, zari and bamboo sticks are being used to prepare the costumes. We are preparing handia along with Dhenu, Jaba and Tati using bamboo sticks. Bandhamandir has been completed by 40 per cent and apparel designs will be added during the new moon on Diwali along with other architectural works."

Notably, Nagarjuna Besha of the Lords was last held in 1994. As per tradition, it is celebrated when the Panchuka (last five days of Kartika month) is observed as six days. This year, due to an extra month after Ashwin (Adhik Maas), the special besha of the Holy Trinity will be held on November 27, the extra day (sixth day of Panchuka).

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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