Chief of Puri Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Suresh Chandra Mohapatra informed that ‘Daru’ of Lord Balabhadra has been identified near the temple of Goddess Sarala at Jhankada in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur.
The Banajaga teams had visited Jhankada 4 times and inspected the Neem tree which had fulfilled the all the atributes and requirements for the Lord Balabhadra daru and then recommended to the SJTA for selection of maha daru for the Lod Balabhadra Daru for this year Nabakalebar.
The Daitapatis are already on the site, while the Banajaga Yatra team will reach the spot on April 19 and rituals such as Ankuraropana and a 3 day long Yagyan that will be performed under the tree before cutting it down for Daru Bramha.
According to the tradition, only wood from a neem tree with special features can be used for making an idol of Lord Balabhadra. The bark of the neem tree should be white, the tree should have seven branches, it should have a sign of a plough and pestle, it should look like a snake and a ‘bel’ tree must be near it.
The tree signals Sankha, Gada, Hala and Sankha. Not a single branch of this tree had damaged during super cyclone 1999 and Phailin 2014. Interestingly in 1996 Nabakalebar few Banajaga members had opted considering this tree for Daru but later rejected due to some reason and later Lord Balabhadra daru had discovered at Ramakrushna pur village in Pagahata under Salepur block in Kendrapada district.
The jagatsinghpur district administration has started work for construction of Sabarapalli for the Banajaga yatris and yajna mandap. Barricading work has started so that the devotees can have the smooth darshan of daru.
Jagatsinghpur District Collector Satya Kumar Mallick said police have put up barricades around the place to secure the site and restrict the free flow of traffic. “Since large number of people will throng the site to take blessings of Lord Balabhadra, the administration has been asked to deploy adequate number of police officials to manage the situation,” said Mallick.
IG, (Eastern) Asit Panigrahi, who was present at the Sarala temple, said keeping the massive footfall of devotees, efforts are being made for smooth traffic arrangements.
“Since we expect that there would be a large congregation of people, we have identified parking places the vehicles coming from Balikuda, Jagatsinghpur, Paradip, Kendrapara and Cuttack where policemen have been deployed. For maintenance of law and order, 15 platoons of police force would be deployed under the supervision of the district SP, magistrate, two additional SPs, 53 Sub Inspectors and nine Inspectors. We will also deploy more police forces if necessary. The entire security provision is being monitored by the Director General of Police (DGP)”, Panigrahi said.