Gods in Puri given sandalwood bath

May 15th, 2008 - 4:21 pm ICT by admin  

By Sarda Lahangir
Puri, May 15 (ANI): Devotees in Puri were a busy lot. They bathed the idols of Puri gods with ‘Chandan’ (sandalwood paste) to relieve them from the scorching summer heat.
The idols were taken out of the temple in traditional gear and given bath by priests of the temple.
The grand ritual witnessed blowing of conches and beating of the cymbals. Then followed their bathing ceremony at the holy Narendra tank, which is part of a 21-day-long festivity.
Thousands of devotees and foreign tourists thronged the coastal town of Puri to witness the sacred ceremony.
The onlookers, lined along the streets and roof- tops, were enthused by the scenes of deities sitting high on well-decorated swan-shaped boats and being taken out on a ’sail’ in water.
“God also feels the heat, so he is given this ‘Chandan’ (sandalwood paste) bath for coolness,” said Prafulla Patnaik, a devotee.
Musicians singing devotional songs, dancers performing traditional Odissi dance and youth displaying acrobatic skills added to the festive mood.
Make - shift sheds have been set up along the path to ensure ‘comfort’ to the deities during the journey. After the divine bath, the deities are taken for a grand cruise on a boat.
Priests said that the ritual would be repeated every day till the end of festival on May 28. (ANI)

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