Now ‘Bahuda’ challenge beckons

Puri: With the first phase of Rath Yatra festival – the onward journey of the Trinity – passing off peacefully, ‘Bahuda’ (the return journey), ‘Sunabesa’ (golden adornment), ‘Adhara Pana’ (offering of special drinks to the deities) and ‘Niladri Bije’ (ingression of the deities into the temple) are the major challenge left for the police and the administration.

All the four pending rituals, the conclusion of which will mark the end of the mega Rath Yatra, brings challenges similar to that of the onward journey of the deities. What weighs heavily in the minds the officials is the fact that the elaborate crowd control arrangements couldn’t stave off two deaths during the onward journey.

Also, more than 15 people were also injured during the proceedings which attracted an influx of around 15 lakh devotees to Puri. Such incidents have forced the police to stay even more alert during the upcoming rituals of the deities.

Moreover, though the rituals during the onward journey were completed on time, only Taladhwaja of Lord Balabhadra was able to make it to Gundicha temple by the same evening while the other two could reach the designated spot the next day. Hence, during the return journey, the key challenge is to make the chariots reach their designated destination on time.

The Bahuda ritual will be held on July 26, Sunabesa on July 27 and Niladri Bije on July 30. During these five days, the deities will be atop their chariots and all the events are expected to draw a huge number of devotees.