Over a lakh pilgrims witnessed Hati-Besha of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra on the auspious occasion of SnanaPurnima

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Puri: Over a lakh pilgrims witnessed Hati-Besha of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra on the auspious occasion of Snana Purnima. After leaving Ratnasinghashan (bejeweled throne), the deities were seated on the Snana Mandap and bathed with 108 pots of water drawn from Sunakua (golden well) situated in the temple premises. The water mixed with scented ingredients and herbs was poured on deities. Servitors then decorated the divine siblings with crowns and various attires to look like three elephants.

Gajapati Dibyasingha Dev, the principal servitor of the trinity, conducted Chera Pahara (sweeping by broom) on the Mandap. Sankarcharya Swamy Nischilananda Saraswati could not have darshan of the Trinity as he is in bed rest following his knee surgery.

Sahana Mela (public darshan) was allowed for hours when devotees entered the podium in queues and viewed the Trinity from a close distant without touching them. There was a ban on touching.

The deities were scheduled to leave for Anasar Ghar, a makeshift compartment used for treatment, where they would stay for 13 days under medical supervision.

The festival comes before a fortnight of the Car Festival.

For smooth traffic management and hassle-free darshan of pilgrims, police made elaborate arrangements along the Badadanda (Grand Road) from early morning until deities quit podium. IG (Central) Soumendra Priyadarshi led the security arrangements.

To avert possible terror threat as the 12 th Century shrine has already been on radar of Jehadi radicals, expertise and bomb-detecting squads were also put in place and the most parts of city remained under CCTV surveillance.

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