Puri: The rare Nagarjuna Besha of Lord Jagannath and his divine siblings, that began after a delay of 3 hours early on Friday morning, concluded at around 9.30 am today.
This was informed by Puri Collector Balwant Singh.
As per the ritual, the deities are being dressed with golden attire and adorned with 16 types of traditional weapons , including Trishul (trident), Hala (plough), Chakra (wheel), Musala (mace), arrows and bows. For the first time, the grand ritual, which falls once in several years, is being observed in the absence of devotees due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dwara Phita ritual was held at 2.45 AM today followed by Bhitara Sodha, Mangala Alati, Mailam, Tadapalagi, Naga Besha and Abakasha Niti. All the rituals were completed by 4,30 AM.
Nagarjuna Besha ritual, which was scheduled to begin at 4:45 AM, was delayed and began at 7 AM due to a dispute between servitors of Bhandar Mekap, Khuntia and Singhari.
This celebration of Nagarjuna Besha is special since it is observed only in those years where the ‘panchuka’, the last five days of the holy month of Karthika, is observed for six days. This event is to happen after a lapse of 26 years. It was earlier observed on November, 26, 1963, November 26, 1966, November 16, 1967 and November 3, 1968. The last Nagarjuna Besha celebration was observed on November 16, 1994.
Devotees missed out on witnessing Nagarjuna Besha of the Trinity in Sri Jagannath temple this year due to restrictions induced by the COVID pandemic.