Odishatv Bureau

Puri: With spirituality in the air and the Badadanda teeming with devotees, Puri King Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb, known as the first servitor of Lord Jagannath, performed the Chhera Panhara (sweeping of the three chariot floors with a golden broom) ritual, considered to be one of the most important rituals.

The ritual assumes religious significance as it is one of the most important rituals conducted during the Rath Yatra that draws crowd from across the globe to Puri every year.

After arriving in his royal palanquin from the Raja Nahara (Royal Palace) Gajapati Maharaj was escorted to all the three chariots of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra for Chhera Panhara.

On each chariot, the servitors sprinkled fragrant water and flowers that the Gajapati swept with a golden broom.

"The festival is unique as the King performs the duty of a sevak. Besides, it is only during Rath Yatra that the Lord comes out of the Puri Srimandir to give darshan to millions of devotees," said Umesh Pratihari, a devotee.

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Earlier, the Shankaracharya of the Govardhan Peeth, Swami Nischalananda Saraswati paid his tributes to the deities before the conduct of the Chhera Panhara rituals.