New flag placed atop Jagannath temple

Puri: The main flag of the temple of Lord Jaganath, known as the Patitapabana Bana, which was blown away due to heavy storm on Friday afternoon has been replaced with a new one.

The flag has been one of the central attractions of the 12th century temple for lakhs of devotees and visitors and there is a belief that such incidents does not augur well for the state and the nation as a whole. Hundreds of Odia bhajans have been written about the famous flag. The flag has an inseparable link with the temple rituals. There is a particular class of servitors known as Chunaras who tie the flag atop the temple dome.

The flag was blown away by the heavy storm on Friday afternoon creating concern among lakhs devotees of Lord Jagannath. However, experts on Jagannath cult like Suryanarayan Rathsharma claim that it was nothing new and there was nothing to be worried about any bad omen. Pandit Rathsharma said,"In early days the flag extended up to the sea itself while later its size was reduced to a length of 108 hands(the temple has the tradition of measuring things with the unit of hand extending from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger) at a later stage. At present its size is 14 hands." Rathsharma advised that there was nothing worried about such incidents.