Puri: Lord Jagannath and his elder brother Lord Balabhadra would be adorned with Nagarjuna Besha (warrior attire) at the Ratnasinghasan (bejewelled throne) of Srimandir here Friday.
The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) and the Puri district administration have made elaborate arrangements for the unique ritual, which is being organised after a gap of 25 years.
However, devotees would be deprived of witnessing the rare ritual as the 12th century shrine has been shut for people due to Covid-19 pandemic.
“Section 144 has been clamped around Srimandir to avoid congregation of people near the shrine Friday. Security has been beefed up in the Holy City for the unique ritual,” said an official of the district administration.
SJTA sources said a group of 10 artisans led by Basanta Rana have prepared the warrior attire for Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra.
“The special attire would be brought to Srimandir around 2am Friday. Servitors would start decorating the deities at the Ratnasinghasan around 4am. The decoration process would take at least three hours. Deities would flaunt the rare attire till 2pm Saturday,” Srimandir sources said.
As per the tradition, Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra would be decorated with their weapons—wheel, mace and plough for the rare ritual. This apart, decorative pieces made of natural thermocol, tinsel and fabric would add glitters to the occasion, said a servitor.
Puri Superintendent of Police (SP) Kanwar Vishal Singh said a total of 25 platoons of armed police personnel have been deployed in the Holy City for maintaining law and order during Nagarjuna Besha ritual. “Security has been beefed up in and around Srimandir. Two ASPs, seven DSPs, 19 SIs and 77 ASIs will supervise the security arrangement,” said the SP.
Puri Collector Balwant Singh, meanwhile, sought cooperation from the devotees, locals and Srimandir servitors for the smooth conduct of Nagarjuna Besha ritual. “Devotees and the residents of Puri had cooperated with us to organise this year’s Rath Yatra without people’s participation amid the pandemic. Now, their cooperation is required for the smooth conduct of Nagarjuna Besha. No one except the servitors would be allowed inside the shrine,” said the Collector.