Row Erupts Over ‘Podhuan Bhaara’ Of Lord Balabhadra In Srimandir

Puri: A controversy erupted at the Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri, a day after devotees and trust board members of Madhavananda Temple in Cuttack Niali arrived at the 12th-century shrine on a grand procession to present ‘Podhuan Bhaara’ for the conduct of Prathamashtami rituals of Lord Balabhadra.

According to legends, many claim that Lord Madhav is the maternal uncle of Lord Balabhadra and the Niali-based temple earlier used to donate presents for his ceremonial ritual (podhuan) on occasion of Prathamashtami.

Deciding to resume the practice, a large procession of devotees, members of the Madhavananda Temple Trust Board and others arrived at Srimandir on Tuesday and presented the Podhuan Bhaara comprising a set of 10 Khandua Patta and Rs 3500 for Lord Balabhadra.

However, denying claims that Niali Madhav is the maternal uncle of Lord Balabhadra and Jagannath, temple administration clarified that the presents were accepted as ‘only donation’ from devotees and not Podhuan Bhaara.

SJTA Niti Administrator Jitendra Sahu clarified, “Till now we have not got any factual evidence to substantiate the claims that Niali Madhav is the maternal uncle of the Holy Trinity.”

Servitors too toed the line with the temple administration. Senior servitor Soumendra Muduli said, “I have been serving the Trinity for several decades but it is yet to be established the maternal link of Niali Madhav with Lord Balabhadra and Mahaprabhu Jagannath.”