Bhubaneswar, June 28 (IANS) Thousands of devotees thronged Odisha’s pilgrim town Puri to witness the divine bath of Lord Jagannath and his siblings on the occasion of Deva Snana Purnima on Thursday.
The idols were brought out from Ratna Bedi (inner sanctum of the temple) to the Snana Mandap (bathing altar) by the temple servitors in Pahandi, a traditional procession.
The bathing ceremony of the Trinity (Lord Jagannath, Lord Balaram and their sister Subhadra) is celebrated on Snana Purnima — the full moon day of Jyestha (month).
It takes place ahead of the annual chariot festival or Ratha Yatra which is the grand culmination of a series of celebrations involving the deities.
Lord Sudarsan was the first to be escorted to the Snana Bedi followed by Lord Balabhadra, Lord Jagannath and Goddess Subhadra.
As per the rituals, the deities were accorded a bath with 108 pitchers of aromatic water by a group of servitors.
After the bath and several other rituals, the sibling deities were dressed up in ‘Hati Besha’ or elephant attire.
“All the rituals of Lord Jagannath and his siblings were held with the cooperation of servitors. Besides, the devotees congregated here are having darshan of the deities,” said Pradipta Mohapatra, Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) chief.
The devotees were not allowed to touch the deities during the rituals following the direction of the temple administration.
The district administration has made elaborate security arrangements for the festival and smooth darshan by the devotees.