Baripada, July 6 (LocalWire): A sea of devotees, gathered in Baripada on Friday to receive the ‘shraddha laddu’ that is distributed from the Lord’s moving chariot, as per the tradition.
According to the temple servitor Bhagavat Panda, after Devi Subhadra’s chariot reaches the police station here, shraddha laddus made with jaggery and boondi are distributed among the female devotees pulling it.
Similarly, devotees pulling Nandighosa are given laddus after they reach the Gundicha temple.
The Jagannath temple of Baripada is one of the oldest temples of Odisha and is known as the second Srikhetra.
Its Ratha Yatra is the oldest and second biggest after the one in Puri and has been celebrated for over 500 years.
The rituals of Baripada Rathayatra are special as it gives priority to the female devotees to pull Devi Subhadra’s chariot, which is unique and attracts female devotees from the neighbouring states also.
The tradition of women pulling Devi Subhadra’s chariot started in 1975, after a lady vice-president of the temple administration, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, proposed that women should get the privilege to pull her chariot.
According to the schedule, the holy trinity will be escorted together to the temple’s Adapa Mandap by 11 pm today.
During the entire celebration period, the trio will be dressed in new attire every day until their last day of stay in their aunt’s house.
They will be seen in Matsya-Kachhapa besa on the first day, followed by Hari hara-Bhrahma besa, Narasimha-Baraha besa, Bamana-Parshuram besa, Kancha-abhijana besa, Ekakalina Dwarika besa and lastly, Suna besa.
On the sixth day, July 12, the three lords will ascend on their chariots again in the Pahandi ritual and the chariots will be pulled from Gundicha temple on July 13.
Unlike Rath Yatra, during Bahuda, Lord Jagannath’s Nandighosa will arrive at Puri Shrimandir, first followed by Devi Subhadra’s Darpadalana that will be pulled up to the town police station.
After, completion of all rituals, Darpadalana will be pulled back to Shrimandir on July 14, followed by Lord Balabhadra’s Taladhwaja.
Shraddha laddus will b distributed among the devotees after Taladhwaja reaches Shrimandir.
If you are wondering what ‘shraddha laddu’ really is, here is your answer: it is a sweet prepared with jaggery and boondi made of chickpea flour and is served to the lords as bhog during the Rath Yatra.
According to folklore, once the labourers after pulling the Lord’s chariot to Gundicha temple, asked the King of Mayurbhanj for bhog. The warm-hearted king standing on the Rath served them the gud-boondi laddus and the tradition is being carried on since then.
Apart from laddus, khichdi, abadha, arisa pethha, kakra, kheeri, puri, poda pethha are some other varieties of bhogs are prepared for offerings.
Story by- Ashmeera Kanungo.