Orissa town celebrates return festival of deitiesJuly 11th, 2011 - 11:34 pm ICT by IANS
Bhubaneswar, July 11 (IANS) More than half a million devotees witnessed the ‘Bahuda Yatra’, or the homecoming festival of Lord Jagannath and two other deities in Orissa’s temple town of Puri Monday, an official said.
Despite the heat and humidity, the beach town witnessed a huge crowd. By afternoon, the number of devotees swelled to more then half a million, Laxmidhar Pujapanda, public relations officer of the Jagannath temple, told IANS from Puri, 56 km from here.
Most of the rituals, including the ceremonial procession of the deities, were performed more than half-an-hour ahead of the schedule, he said, adding that the chariots arrived near the 12 century Jagannath temple before sunset.
Devotees performed various traditional and religious dances on the beats of gongs and chants of ‘Haribol’ and ‘Jai Jagannath’ as the three gigantic chariots rolled down.
The Bahuda Yatra marks the return of Lord Jagannath, elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra, from the Gundicha temple to the main Jagannath temple about two km away, both in Puri.
The return festival is held nine days after the annual Rath Yatra, which marks the journey of the three deities from the 12th century Jagannath temple in three splendidly decorated wooden chariots to Gundicha temple.
The Ratha Yatra is held on the second day of the waxing moon during the month of Ashadha (June-July) of the Indian calendar.
The deities return to their abode in the same splendidly decorated chariots, which thousands of devotees pull with the help of ropes. A glimpse of the deities on the chariots during the Rath Yatra and Bahuda Yatra considered to be very auspicious.
The official said more then a million devotees were expected at the beach town to witness the Suna Besha or golden attire of the deities on their respective chariots Tuesday. About 100 kg gold is used for the decoration of the deities.
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Tags: ceremonial procession, chariots, deities, devotees, elder brother, gongs, half a million, haribol, homecoming festival, indian calendar, jagannath temple, jai jagannath, lord jagannath, orissa, puri, rath yatra, ratha yatra, subhadra, temple town, waxing moon