Puri: Lord Jagannath and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra would be offered Podapitha, a traditional cake, on their respective chariots near Mausi Maa temple here during the Bahuda Yatra July 1.
Priests at the Mausi Maa temple here have started baking the special cake for the Srimandir deities.
As per tradition, the three deities are offered the special cake on their chariots during their return journey from Srigundicha temple to Srimandir. Nandighosa, Taladhwaja and Darpadalan chariots make a brief halt near the Mausi Maa temple during Bahuda Yatra for the unique ritual.
ccording to legend, a river, named as Malini, was flowing in between Srimandir and Srigundicha temple long ago. The Gajapati rulers were then forced to construct six chariots for the annual Rath Yatra.
Three chariots were used to carry the deities from Srimandir to the Malini riverbank while another three chariots were pressed into service for Lord Jagannath and his siblings’ journey once they were ferried to the opposite side.
It is believed that Lord Jagannath’s maternal aunt, Devi Ardhashosini, was instrumental in drying up Malini river for the smooth conduct of the Car Festival. In order to express his gratitude, Lord Jagannath had promised his aunt to make a halt near her temple and accept Podapitha during Bahuda Yatra.
Mausi Maa temple priests claim that they prepare the special cake by churning flour, cheese, sugar, ghee and some aromatic substances. “We fry the mix with pure ghee after keeping it on hot steam for seven to eight hours. Podapitha is baked in traditional hearths. Pujapanda servitors distribute the specially-made cake among devotees after offering it to deities,” the priests said.