Decks cleared for Banajaga Yatra from Odisha’s pilgrim town Puri on March 29

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Mar 11:

The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) today held an important meeting with the Daitapati Nijog (body of Daitapati servitors) as part of the preparations for the Nabakalebara Yatra of Lord Jagannath scheduled this year at the temple office here in Odisha’s pilgrim town of Puri.

Maa Mangala temple at Kakatpur (Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra)
Maa Mangala temple at Kakatpur
(Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra)

The team for the Banajaga Yatra – the journey for search of daru (neem trees for carving of new idols) will start its onward journey from Puri on March 29 and will arrive at the Deuli Mutt in Kakatpur on April 2.

Banajaga Yatra is considered the opening chapter of the Nabakalebara process of the Lords.

Today’s meeting decided to conduct the majana niti of Maa Mangala, the presiding deity of Kakatpur, on April 3 at an auspicious moment.

It was also decided at the meeting to hold a two-day training camp for young members of the Daitapati community on the rituals and practices associated with Nabakalebara process of the Lords  on 14th and 15th of this month, said chief administrator of the SJTA Suresh Chandra Mohapatra.

He said a team from the Daitapati community led by him will visit the places where the Banajaga Yatra team members will take rest and the Deuli Mutt to take stock of the situation and arrangements made there.

“They will be going from here to the Deuli Mutt during the Banajaga Yatra. We discussed issues pertaining to it. Today we made a final selection of clothes to be used during different rituals like shudhhi kriya etc. Orders will be immediately placed for its purchase. We held detailed discussions on the all other arrangements required for the Banajaga Yatra. The Daitapati Nijog has already decided to hold the training camp on March 15 and 16. Young members of their community will be taking the training on Nabakalebara process since the last Nabakalebara Yatra of Lords was held 19 years back and youngsters who would be accompanying the Banajaga team will have no idea about the practices involved in it. That is why they need to be trained. Senior members of the Daitapati community and guests from outside will be imparting training to the young members. The temple administration has provided financial assistance for holding the training camp,” said Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, chief administrator SJTA briefing newsmen after the meeting.

The Daitapati Nijog has said that the Nabakalebara Yatra of the Lords will be conducted smoothly and in a disciplined manner.

“Members of the Daitapati Nijog have bestowed all responsibilities on him (Suresh Mohapatra) and everything will be done in accordance as per his directions and advice. We will give our full cooperation for the Banajaga Yatra. On March 29, we will begin Banajaga Yatra. It was decided at the meeting to hold a training camp for the young members of our community. Our Nijog will impart training to the younger generation on the practices and rituals associated with Nabakalebara Yatra,” said Ramakrushna Dasmohapatra, president of Daitapati Nijog.

“Young members of our community will be trained by our senior members; it will be also attended by the chief administrator. The temple administration has been informed of the names of the senior Daitapatis who will be imparting training. The meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere. We discussed issues like serving of Mahaprasad during our journey etc,” said Jagannath Swain Mohapatra, a senior Daitapati.

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