Puri King Gives Go-ahead for Banajaga Yatra

Gajapati Maharaj Dibya Singh Dev, the King of Puri and the first servitor of Lord Jagannath performed gua teka ritual with the Rajguru (royal counselor) for the Banajaga Yatra after the completion of the customary poojas at his palace.

The gua teka ritual symbolizes the green signal or authorization by the King for the Banajaga expedition to go ahead. Later in the afternoon the Rajguru will hand over the same betel nut to Biswabasu of the Banajaga Yatra team.

Banajaga Yatra is the expedition for search of darus (neem trees) for carving out of new idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Sudarshan.

According to sources in the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), the agyanmala bije ritual will take place at 3.30 pm, followed by shaddhibandha of the Daitapatis at 5 pm and the start of Banajaga Yatra, the first act in the elaborate process called Nabakalebara, at 5.10 pm.

The names for different posts of the Banajaga Yatra team were announced by the SJTA last evening.

“Now we have published the final order with the complete list of persons who will be in the Banajaga Yatra team that will commence its journey tomorrow. It was already decided earlier that Haladhara Dasmohapatra will be the dalapati (team leader). Four have been selected as upadalapatis (deputy team leaders) since Banajaga Yatra will be of approximately one and half month duration. They will be assisting the dalapati in identification of darus (neem trees) and other allied works. They are Ramakrushna Dasmohapatra, Durga Dasmohapatra, Chandrasekhar Dasmohapatra and Ganesh Dasmohapatra. Binayak Dasmohapatra has been nominated as Biswabasu. Besides, Narasingha Pati Mohapatra has been designated as Vidyapati,” SJTA chief administrator Suresh Chandra Mohapatra told.

Mohapatra said the procession will start from Sri Mandir on Sunday evening after the shadibandha ritual is complete. It will take a little time since more than 100 people will be participating in the shadibandha ritual.

“We have tried to accommodate senior members from the different groups among them and those who had aspired to hold positions of Biswabasu and others so that Banajaga Yatra is conducted smoothly with the participation of all, said the chief administrator.

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