Bahuda Yatra in Jagannath Puri
BY: DEBABRATA MOHAPATRA
Three chariots parked in front of Jagannath Temple
after traversing along the Grand Road from Gundicha Temple to Jagannath Temple
[Photos by D. Mohapatra, Sampradaya Sun. Click all images for larger version.]
Jul 12, JAGANNATHA PURI, ORISSA Bahuda Yatra passes off peacefully.
The curtain came down on the nine-day annual Rath Yatra on Saturday as thousands of pilgrims, undeterred by the death of six pilgrims in a stampede on day one of the mega festival, turned up on the Grand Road to participate in Bahuda Yatra, the homecoming festival of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra.
It was the pack-off time of the sibling Deities, who had come out on a nine-day outing to Gundicha Temple, believed to be the birthplace of the presiding Gods of Jagannath Temple. On Saturday, the Deities headed towards their real abode, the 12th century Jagannath shrine, riding on the same colorful wooden chariots they had used on the day of Rath Yatra, July 4th.
King Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb performing 'chhera pahanra' (sweeping ceremony)
The ambience of the Bahuda Yatra resembled that of Rath Yatra, which was witnessed by nearly eight lakh devotees. Serenading devotees went gung-ho and were jostling for spaces to catch a glimpse of the triad Deities' flamboyant pahandi procession, in which the giant idols were brought from Gundicha Temple onto the chariots amid rhythmic beats of traditional musical instruments like conch, cymbals and gongs.
The three Deities boarded their respective chariots in scheduled time after a set of rituals inside the Gundicha Temple. Their Lordships then traversed on the three km. Grand Road towards Jagannath Temple soon after Gajapati Dibyasigha Deb performed his conventional "sweeping ritual" (chhera pahanra) on the decks of the chariots.
Devi Subhadra being taken to Her chariot by priests
This time, the temple administration was in haste to start the chariot pulling as quickly as possible so that all the chariots would reach the front of the Jagannath Temple before sunset, for the priests had threatened to stop pulling the chariots after sundown. As of reports last reached, the chariots carrying Balabhadra and Subhadra had reached the destination while the one ferrying Lord Jagannath was a few hundred meters away from the Jagannath Temple.
"Barring a few small crimes like snatching and pick-pocketing, no major inconvenience was reported. We had made wide arrangements for the smooth conduct of Bahuda Yatra," said one source.
A sea of humanity on the Grand Road to watch Bahuda Yatra
Similarly, by the evening there had been no casualty reported during Bahuda Yatra. "We received nearly fifty pilgrims, who fainted due to exhaustion and dehydration. But all of them are safe. No pilgrim in serious condition arrived at the hospital," said Pramod Mohanty, a doctor at Puri district headquarter hospital.
We hope you enjoy these excellent images, live from the Bahuda Yatra in Sridhama Jagannath Puri.
Three chariots in front of Jagannath Temple
Devotee performs a dance in front of the chariots,
before they're pulled back to Jagannath Temple
Three chariots in front of Gundicha Temple before the pulling of chariots
Lord Jagannath being taken to His chariot on pahandi procession chariots
Chariot pulling in progress
Devotees worshipping the Deities in front of Their chariots