Puri: Braving heavy downpour, lakhs of
devotees on Wednesday witnessed Lord Jagannath`s ceremonial bathing
ritual known as `Devasnan` held on the full moon day of the
Oriya month of Jestha in the run up to the annual `Rath Yatra`
on July 3.
Lord Jagannath, His elder brother Lord Balabhadra and
sister Devi Subhadra, were taken out of the sanctum santcorum
to `Snan Mandap` (bathing pandal) in a spectacular procession.
Priests poured 108 pitchers of aromatic water on the deities.
A special set of rituals were performed as the
Devasnana Purnima this time coincided with the lunar eclipse.
Gajapati King of Puri Dibya Singha Dev performed
`Chherapahanra` (sweeping with a golden broom) around the
deities on the bathing altar.
After the bathing rituals, the deities were dressed in
`elephant attire` popularly called Gajanana Vesha.
The day is also observed as the birthday of Lord
Jagannath as King Indradyumna had established the temple on
this day. The deities would be taken back to the temple in the
night, said Laxmidhar Pujapanda, an official of Sri Jagannath
Above 40 platoons (1200 personnel) of Orissa police
along with Rapid Action Force, bomb squad and other security
personnel were deployed on the occasion.