Banaka Lagi rituals at Puri Srimandir today; no darshan for 4 hours


Puri: Devotees will not get the darshan of deities of Sri Jagannath temple of Puri for four hours from 5pm to 9pm on Wednesday because of the ‘Banaka Lagi’ rituals. Sri Jagannath temple in Puri is one of the four revered Dhams of Hinduism.

Banaka Lagi ritual is also called ‘Srimukha Simhar’ niti. ‘Banaka’ word denotes colours derived from Vana or forest. This ritual also means decoration of the face of the Lord or ‘Srimukha Simhar’. In simple terms, it can be described as the repainting of the deities.

Banaka Lagi ritual is performed at regular intervals throughout the year. Through this ritual Sri Jagannath, Sri Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra always remain fresh and attractive for the devotees.

This ritual is performed by Datta Mahapatra servitors of Sri Jagannath temple. The garbhagruha or sanctum sanctorum of the temple remains closed and no outsiders are allowed inside during this ritual. So, the devotees do not get the darshan of the deities for around four hours. Today there will be no darshan of deities from 6 PM to 10 PM.

During the ‘Banaka Lagi’ ritual the Datta Mahapatra sevayats will repaint the deities with various traditional organic colours. Banaka or these colours include aromatic organic materials like Hingula, Haritala, Kasturi as well as glue from the Kaintha fruit.

This ritual of Sri Jagannath passes on the message to us that we should always remain fresh and presentable to the world. We should always take care of the physical body the Almighty has provided us.

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