Puri: Amid the look of a sea of devotees in Puri Srimandir, the divine bath of Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath began on the Snana Mandap in Srimandir here. The occasion – Snana Purnima – marks the beginning of the annual sojourn of the deities to the Mausima Temple.
Early in the morning, the temple servitors escorted the deities in ‘Dhadi Pahandi’ to the Snana Bedi, or bathing altar inside the premises of Srimandir, facing the Grand Road.
Lord Sudarsan was the first to be escorted to the Snana Bedi followed by Lord Balabhadra, Lord Jagannath and Goddess Subhadra at last.
As per the rituals, the holy Trinity will be accorded a bath in 108 pitchers of aromatic water by the Pujapanda servitors. The water would be drawn by Garabadu servitors from a well called ‘Sunakua’ situated inside the temple premises.
After the bathing ritual and the conduct of a set of ‘nitis’, the sibling deities would be dressed up in ‘Hati Besha’ or elephant attire. Later in the evening, devotees would be allowed to go to the bathing altar to offer prayers during Sahan Mella (free public darshan). The Sahan Mella will start at 7.30 pm and the darshan will be allowed till 9.30 pm, reports said.
However no devotees would be allowed to touch the deities, as per previous orders.After the Sahan Mella is over, the deities would be taken in ritualistic procession to the ‘Anasar Ghar’, where they will be treated with herbal medicine as it is believed that the Lord get fever after the ceremonial bath.
The deities will come out of the Anasar Ghar for Nabajouban Darshan, a day before Rath Yatra. The annual sojourn is scheduled on July 14 this year.
Meanwhile, as many as 42 platoons of police forces have been deployed for the smooth conduct of the Snana Purnima rituals. On the other hand, traffic movement have also been streamlined in the holy city to ensure the safety of the commuters.