Lakhs of devotees Saturday witnessed the 'Suna Besha' (gold attire) ritual of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra marking the end of the nine-day long annual Ratha Yatra amidst tight security. As per tradition the deities are adorned with gold jewellery on the day after the return car festival as they remain seated on their respective chariots in front of the Lion's Gate of the Sri Jagannath Temple here.
"The deities are adorned with gold jewellery weighing about 208 kg," said Bhaskar Mishra, a special officer in the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA). According to temple tradition, the deities are adorned with gold five times in a year. While four such events take place inside the temple, only 'Suna Besha' ritual is held outside the 12th century temple when the deities are on their chariots.
The ritual provides the devotees who are not allowed entry into the temple to have a glimpse of Lord Jagannath. The ritual dates back to 1460 since the reign of King Kapilendra Deb, who is said to have donated most of the ornamnents used in 'Suna Besha'.
The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) with the help of Odisha government made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the ritual. SJTA chief administrator P K Mohapatra said all arrangements have been made to ensure safetry of the people and the deities' chariots.
The police erected barricades around the chariots to ensure foolproof security. CCTV cameras were also installed on the Grand Road outside the Lion Gate of the temple to keep a watch, said IG, central range, Soumendra Priyadarshi..
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