Puri, June 17 (LocalWire): Over a lakh devotees thronged the Jagannath Temple here today to join the Snan Yatra and witness the holy bathing ceremony of Lord Jagannath, and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra.
The Deva Snana Purnima which is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Jyestha is considered as the birthday of Shri Jagannatha and marks the beginning of the month-long Rath Yatra festivities.
It is also one of the annual occasions when the idols of the deities are taken out from the garbhagriha or the sanctum sanctorum, in a grand procession, to the Snana Mandap or the special bathing area within the temple premises.
The Snana Mandap is built at a height in a way that visitors standing outside the temple can also get a glimpse of the deities. The bathing ceremony is carried out using the water brought in 108 pots from the golden well within the Shri Mandira in Puri.
During the preparation of the holy bath, the water-filled pots are kept at the Bhoga Mandap where the priests purify the water using haladi (turmeric), java (whole rice), chandan (sandal), flowers and perfumes.
The filled and purified water pots are carried to the bathing platform by the servers in a long single line queue. This ritual is called Jalabhisheka.