Puri: Elaborate arrangements were made for smooth conduct of Snana Purnima Thursday. However, the number of people attending the ritual saw some decrease from last year, sources said. Security personnel were deployed in strength, in and around the shrine. Over 100 CCTV cameras were installed to monitor the bathing ritual of the deities and movement of devotees.
According to Puri police superintendent Sarthak Sarangi, patrolling by police personnel was stepped up and special steps were taken to regulate vehicular traffic during the event. Further, arrangements were also made to enable the public to witness the ritual from behind barricades.
Sources, meanwhile, claimed the number of devotees who turned up to witness the ritual was slightly lower this year as compared to last year.
“Heavy rain for the last two days might have discouraged many from visiting the Pilgrim City to witness the ritual. The Snana Purnima ritual usually witnesses the footfall of around 4 lakh. This year, we can peg the figure at around 2 lakh,” said a source.
“No one can visit Puri and have a darshan of the Lord without his wish. We have tried to visit the Holy City and witness the Snana Purnima ritual earlier but failed. This time, I and my family got an opportunity to witness the bathing ritual and the Hati Besha of the deities,” said Sandhyarani Mishra, a devotee from Bhadrak.
Echoing the same, Rajkishore Mohapatra, a devotee from Midnapur in West Bengal, said, “I had visited Srimandir several times in the past but never got an opportunity to witness the bathing ritual. I feel blessed after watching Lord’s bathing.”
On the occasion, sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik sculpted a sand art at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar. “On the auspicious occasion of Deva Snana Purnima, Pray Lord Jagannath for peace and happiness of all,” he tweeted.