Devotees on Sunday made a beeline to the Adap Mandap inside Gundicha temple for the ‘Navami Darshan’ of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra.
According to Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), the gates of the temples were opened at 5 am while the devotees were allowed for darshan from 5:30 am today after several rituals were performed.
At Gundicha Temple the deities remain for 7 days and perform their return journey on the 9th day which is known as ‘Bahuda Yatra’. The three chariots reach back the main temple in the evening. On the next day, the three deities are attired in costumes of glittering gold ornaments and are worshipped by millions of devotees. This is known as the ‘Suna Vesha’. Next day morning, the three deities go back to their original place of the temple. Their arrival into the sanctum sanctorum marks the end of the Car festival.
More than a religious festival, the Ratha Yatra is an eternal celebration of the divine values of love and compassion, of equality and fraternity. The general public is allowed to pull the chariots irrespective of caste, creed, sect, and religion and sex distinctions. This liberty indicates that the deity is equal for every person on earth and grants equal opportunity to all. Also, the festival signifies that the benevolent deities’ desire to come down to the level of the common man to share the joys and suffering of the common folk and to travel with them on the Grand Road for some time to reach Sri Gundicha Temple.
The Ratha Yatra is the grand finale of a series of festivals spread over the summer and the monsoon month.