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Snana Purnima: When Puri Deities Get Divine Bath

Puri: Since ages, Snana Purnima, a major ritual prelude to the famous Car festival or the Rath Yatra, has been drawing lakhs to devotees to the piligrim town of Puri every year. But this year, the buzz was missing as no devotees were allowed to attend the grand bathing ceremony of Lord Balabhadra, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Jagannath on Friday owing to COVID-19 restrictions.

However, the restrictions could not snap the bond between the devotees and the Lord Jagannath as millions of devotees watched the Snana Purnima rituals within the confines of their homes via Live telecast of the mega event.

After the Chaturdha Murti were brought to the Snana Mandap following a series of early morning rituals including the Pahanda, the deities were bathed with 108 pitchers of water mixed extracts of various aromatic herbs.

According to servitors, the ritual is observed to provide them relief from the summer heat. After the deities are bathed, they fall sick and remain in hibernation for 14 days.

As per tradition, 108 pots of water are collected from a designated ‘Suna’ well near Sitala temple inside the premises of Sri Mandir and stored at a place called ‘Adibasha Gruha’. This water is used to bath the deities.

The water is mixed with various potions of sandalwood, chua, agura and purified with a process called Sodasa Upachara.

Thirty five pots of water are prepared for bathing the deity of Sri Jagannath while his elder brother Lord Balabhadra bathes with 33 pots of water, 22 pots of water are emptied on Devi Subhadra and Sri Sudarshan is bathed with 18 pots of water.

Though the devotees missed the ‘Pahandi’ ritual in which the deities are escorted from the ‘Ratna Singhasana’ (jewel throne) to the Snana Mandap this year due to restrictions, everyone can watch the grand bathing followed by the Hati Besha of the Holy Trinity.

Amid restrictions on the entry and movement of devotees with enforcement of section 144 in and around areas of the Srimandir, a thick blanket of security cover has also been put in place by Odisha Police for hassle free completion of the festival.

Also Read: Sans Devotees, Snana Purnima Rituals Of Holy Trinity Underway In Puri


(Edited by Suryakant Jena)



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