Rath Yatra: Pahandi Bije ritual concludes

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Puri: The Pahandi Bije ritual concluded amid the beating of drums, cymbals and gongs, as Lord Jagannath who followed his siblings, climbed up their respective chariots.

‘Pahandi’ ritual of Lord Jagannath is awaited by every devotee as the Lord of the universe comes out of the Srimandir’s sanctum sanctorum.

The blowing of kahali, the clang of the ghanta, and the beating of the ‘telingi baja’ in a unique rhythmic movement slowly rising to a crescendo herald the beginning of their movement.

First came Sudarshana who took the place on the chariot of Devi Subhadra. He is followed by Lord Balabhadra. Devi Subhadra, the yellow-golden coloured younger sister of Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra, follows soon after.

Subhadra is carried on the shoulders in a supine state. Her movement is much faster and the daitas carrying her almost rush through the process in a running movement.

At last, comes Lord Jagannath in a regal procession. Dancers perform traditional Odissi dance to the accompaniment of ‘mardala’ and ‘mridanga’, traditional Orissan percussion instruments, as the procession moves forward. Devotees also perform sankirtan, ritual group chanting of the names of Lords with rhythmic jumping movements.

Descending from the ‘Ratna Sinhasana’, the bejewelled throne, the three deities were taken out of the temple down the 22 steps known as “Baisi Pahacha” through Lion’s gate in an elaborate royal ritual called “Pahandi” as devotees and sevayats jostled to have a glimpse.

The world-famous Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath is being held in the pilgrim town of Odisha with religious fervour and enthusiasm amid tight security.

Devotees from all walks of life made a beeline to the seaside town to have a glimpse of the presiding deities of the 12th Century shrine of Lord Jagannath as the Trinity mingled with the sea of humanity during the annual festival of chariots.

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