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Hera Panchami celebrates love and pang of separation

Puri: Dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, Hera Panchami is a unique festival at the Gundicha temple, celebrated with a mixed spirit of love and pangs of a brief separation from the Lord.
Popular belief goes like this, before Lord Jagannath visits Gundicha temple with his siblings, he promises his wife Lakshmi Devi that He will return the next day.

But Lord Jagannath in the company of his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra Devi forgets to go to Lakshmi Devi, as He finds Himself in the midst of millions of loving devotees.

Lakshmi Devi after waiting for His return for 5 long days becomes impatient and a little agitated. On the instruction of Vimala Devi, her elder sister, at night she sets out to Gundincha temple looking for the Lord and sees His ratha waiting outside the temple.

She breaks down a piece of the wooden wheel of Nandigosha (Jagannath’s Ratha) to teach Him a lesson. After the damage is done, Lakshmi Devi goes back to her temple through Hera Gouri Sahi.
Today as Hera Panchami was observed here, the deity Lakshmi Devi was taken to Gundincha temple in a colorful procession, attended by a large number of ecstatic devotees.

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