Rath Yatra: Bahuda preparations begin in Puri

Puri: A day after the Hera Panchami ritual, preparations for return of Lord Jagannnath and his sibling deities to Srimandir after their stay at Gundicha temple in the pilgrim town has begun.

The Holy Trinity who had left the temple for a nine day annual sojourn to their aunt’s house (Gundicha Temple) on their chariots  on July 15 are now getting ready for homecoming.

As per tradition, the three chariots of the Lords placed in front of the Gundicha temple will be directed Southwards today in a ritual called ‘Dakhinamoda’ and taken to the Nakachana gate after offering of the divine permission called  ‘Agyan Mala’ from the deities.

The ‘Agyan Mala’ will be first offered to Lord Balabhadra’s chariot Taladhwaja, followed by Nandighosa and thereafter to Devi Subhadra’s chariot Devadalan.  Devi Subhadra’s chariot will be the first to be directed southwards.

On Wednesday, the Gundicha temple premises wore a festive look on occasion of Hera Panchami ritual as thousands of devotees gathered to witness the age old ritual .

Goddess Laxmi who comes to visit Lord Jagannath to the Gundicha Temple on a palanquin was offered Mahaprasad, Bandapana, Chamar Alat. The Dahi Pati Manohi ritual was also conducted.

On getting the Agyan Mala of Lord Jagannath, she returns to the main temple through the Nakachana gate. As per the famously known ritual Hera Panchami, the Goddess orders one of her attendants to damage a part of the Nandighosa chariot and returns to the  home temple in secrecy, through a separate route – Heragouri Sahi. Despite being conducted late night, the ritual was witnessed by thousands of devotees.