Special rituals at Srimandir ahead of lunar eclipse

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Puri: The 21st century’s longest lunar eclipse has led to changes in timings of the routine rituals at the 12th century shrine and the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has made elaborate arrangements for some special rituals during the celestial event on Friday.

While the gates were opened at 5 am, Mangala Alati was done 5.40 am. The ‘Sakala Dhupa’ ritual was conducted by 11 am. Soures said all the rituals, including ‘Bhogamandap’, ‘Mailam’ and ‘Tadapalagi’, will be performed by 2:54 pm.

The eclipse will start at around 11.54 pm as per Indian Standard Time (IST) and the total eclipse will begin at 1.02 am. The moon will be transformed into deep blood red (reddish in colour), will be at 3.49 am.

Cooking and intake of food as well as all the rituals at the Jagannath Temple in Puri will be suspended from 2.54 pm, just nine hours before the beginning of the eclipse said a priest. He said adding that as per Hindu almanac, the rituals in temples will resume with the ‘Mahasnana’ ritual (holy bath of the idols) after total eclipse. Besides, they will be offered ‘Khaikora’ (a prasad made from puffed rice) during the eclipse.

“People can take food following shower and purifying their houses with holy water after completion of the lunar eclipse,” said a Srimandir priest.

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