Snana Jatra, the annual ceremonial bathing ritual of the presiding deities of Shree Jagannath temple, was celebrated on Thursday amid tight security in Puri.
The Snana Jatra ceremony of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra was witnessed by a large number of devotees from across Odisha and outside.
Priests poured 108 pitchers of aromatic sacred water on the deities on the Snana Mandap or the bathing altar.
The bathing ceremony was followed a grand procession called ‘pahandi’ in which the deities along with the idol of ‘Sudarshan’ were taken out from the sanctum sanctorum to the bathing altar in a majestic manner.
The deities were attired with Gajanana Vesha or elephant dress after the bathing ritual. Lord Jagannath adorns the elephant attire to please his Maharastrian devotees who worship Lord Ganesh.
Snana Jatra, held on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Jyestha, also considered to be the birthday of Lord Jagannath, is a significant ritual in the run-up to the annual ‘Rath Jatra’ festival of Lord Jagannath.
Elaborate arrangements were made for smooth conduct of the annual event and security personnel in strength have been deployed in and around the shrine.
“Patrolling by police personnel was stepped up and special steps were taken to regulate vehicular traffic for the event,” according Puri police superintendent Sarthak Sarangi.
Arrangements were made to enable the public to witness the ritual from behind barricades.
Globally acclaimed sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik sculpted a sand art at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar on the occasion.
“On the auspicious occasion of Deva Snana Purnima, Pray Lord Jagannath for peace and happiness of all,” he said in a message.
(With inputs from PTI)