Disruption in rituals at Alarnath Temple threatens Anavasara darshan

Puri: With just ten days remaining ahead of the famous Anavasara Darshan at Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri of Puri district, a dispute between two sects of servitors has led to a disruption in rituals at the 12th century shrine.

A fresh dispute between two servitor groups, Siba Suar (palia servitors) and Pandas, over rituals has reignited a long-standing tiff leading to disruption in the daily rituals of Lord Alarnath.

According to sources, the palia servitors of the temple allowed devotees to have darshan of the deity without the ‘Ballava Dhupa’ which was scheduled to be performed by Panda servitors leading to a dispute and subsequent disruption in rituals today.

As per latest reports, Panda servitors stopped the Ballava Dhupa of the deity till 1 PM which left the deity fasting since morning. They have urged the administration to intervene in the matter to resolve the row, informed sources.

“Today morning, before the Puja Panda could conduct Ballava Dhupa, the first ritual of the Lord after daybreak, the palia servitors had already allowed more than a hundred tourists and devotees for darshan. As per the rule, the rituals have been halted and only after the palia servitors carry out the ‘sodhha’ (purification) and ‘magha snana’ (bathing) of the deity, rituals can be resumed,” servitor Rabi Narayan Puja Panda said.

On the other hand, Mekap Palia servitor Rajesh Kumar Suar said “It is improper to keep the Lord without food because of the dispute between two groups. It is better we resolve our concerns through mutual discussions.”

Taking note of the mater, the administration is trying to resolve the issue and restore normalcy at the shrine.

Sources said a meeting between all the stakeholders will be held in presence of the sub-collector and the ADM to resolve the issue.

“The present issue is the result of a long-standing row between two groups of the temple. We have decided to hold a meeting to implement the steps recommended by the Endowment Commissioner. We are trying to resolve the row in an amicable way,” additional Tehsildar, Dhananjay Mohanty said.

Thousands of devotees descend at the famous shrine to have darshan of Lord Alarnath during the Anavasara rituals at Puri Srimandir.