Puri: The Rajarajeswar Besha ritual, popularly known as Suna Besha of Lord Jagannath and his siblings Devi Subhadra and elder brother Lord Balabhadra was held in Puri Wednesday.
As part of the ritual, the Holy Trinity appeared on their chariots in front of Srimandir Singhadwara adorned in gold jewellery. The ritual, however, was observed sans devotees this year like last year amid Covid guidelines.
The Trinity who returned from their nine-day sojourn from Gundicha temple to their original abode- Jagannath temple here yesterday appeared in their full bodily form today wearing pure gold attire with their respective weapons.
The three presiding deities were dressed in huge gold ornaments and jewellery by the servitors which are known as Suna Besha popularly called Rajarajeshwara Besha or Badachadhau Besha.
According to the temple history, in 1460 AD when the then Gajapati Kapilendra Dev returned victorious in his South expedition brought huge gold and jewellery and donated them to the Lord. His minister Badachadhau Pattnaik advised the king to observe a Suna Besha of deities on chariots to facilitate Sunavesh darshan to devotees who were not allowed into the temple.
The king granted the request and named this Suna Besha on his minister Badachadhau.
Tuesday the three presiding deities reached Singhadwar of the main temple on their return journey from Gundicha temple in Bahuda Yatra and spent the night on their chariots.
Today early morning the priests performed Mangal arati, Mailum, Tadaplagi, Abakash, and offered Gopal bhog. Thereafter Sakaldhup was offered followed by Madhahna dhup.
In the afternoon about 4 PM, the process for Suna Besha began.
The Bhandar Mekap (assistant treasurer of temple) in presence of Pattajoshi Mahapatra, Deulakaran, Pratihari and temple police opened the Bahar Bhandar(outer treasury) and brought out ornaments and jewelleries of three deities kept in three separate boxes amid tight security.
The gold ornaments were handed over to the servitors on the three chariots with an acknowledgement of the inventory they received.
Three separate sets of dressers called Simharies along with some senior Daita servitors dressed the deities in gold ornaments simultaneously. It took about one and half hours from 4 PM to 5.30 PM to complete the Besha and decoration.
Huge gold tiaras (head gears) were fixed on their heads while a number of necklaces of various sizes were decorated on their necks. These apart the deities were given gold limbs like feet, hands, ear lobes and their insignias.
While lord Jagannath has been fashioned with Sankha (conch) and chakra(wheel) on his both hands, Balabhadra with a gold plough.
Because of pandemic restriction and imposition of curfew, there were no devotees on Badadanda to witness the Besha.
After about four hours of Besha, servitors will undo the Besha and return the ornaments as per the list they received to the temple treasury.
A complex set of rituals will be then observed which would continue till late in the night and after Badasimhar Besha, the curtain on the chariots would be drawn for the night called Pahada.
This Badachadhau Suna Besha is the only one to be observed outside the Ratnasimhasan.
Every year four Suna Besha were observed in the Garbhagriha on Dolapurnami, Kartik Purnima, Pousa pournami and on Bijaya Dashami (Dasahara).
As per the 1978 inventory of the ornaments in the Bahar Bhandar (outer treasury), there were 367 items of gold ornaments weighing 400 kilograms and silver ornaments about 14 quintals besides the rare size of precious jewels.
The inner treasury was yet to be opened.
The deities would be offered Adharpana on the chariots Thursday night and Friday would be escorted in Pahandi procession into the sanctum sanctorum of the main temple to the Ratnasimhasan called Niladri Bije.