Niladri Bije: Lord Jagannath, siblings back in Srimandir as Ratha Jatra concludes in Odisha’s Puri city

Bhubaneswar: Lord Jagannath and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra returned to the sanctum sanctorum of Srimandir as the annual Ratha Jatra came to an end in Odisha’s Puri city today.

The deities were escorted to the Ratna Bedi (bejeweled throne) at the sanctum sanctorum of the 12th century shrine from their respective chariots through the ceremonial Pahandi procession. The reinstallation of the deities atop Srimandir Ratna Bedi is traditionally known as Niladri Bije, said a servitor.

Thousands of devotees congregated on the Grand Road of the seaside city to witness the ritual.

Lord Sudarshan, the holy weopon of Lord Jagannath, is the first to be escorted to the Srimandir sanctum sanctorum, followed by Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra. Lord Jagannath is the last to reach the Ratna Bedi, added the servitor.

As per the temple tradition, Lord Jagannath gifted Rasagola to his consort Goddess Laxmi to appease her before entering the sanctum sanctorum. Goddess Laxmi was miffed as she was left out from the annual Ratha Jatra, said the servitor.

The deities had begun their journey for Srigundicha temple from Srimandir by riding three majestic chariots—Nandighosa, Taladhwaja and Darpadalana—on the occasion of Gundicha Jatra on June 20. Around 10 lakh devotees from across Odisha and outside thronged Puri city to witness the mega event, said an official.

They returned to the Lions’ Gate of Srimandir on the occasion of Bahuda Jatra on June 28 after spending eight days at Srigundicha temple.

The deities were adorned with golden attire on their respective chariots as part of Suna Besha ritual on June 29. Lakhs of devotees visited the Holy City to witness the ritual.

The deities were offered delicious drink on their chariots as part of Adharapana ritual on June 30.

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