Lords’ Annual Sojourn: Hera Panchami, Rath Bhanga Ritual Today

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Puri: The grandeur of Rath Yatra continues to draw devotees from around the world. What makes it all the more interesting are the rituals observed during the nine-day annual sojourn. One among them is Hera Panchami.

The Gundicha Temple in Puri, where the Lords are on vacation, will witness this unique ritual on Wednesday. It is observed on the fifth day of Rath Yatra, when the sibling deities leave the Jagannath Temple on their grand chariots amid chanting of hymns and beating of gongs with devotees swarming the Grand Road.

On Hera Panchami, Goddess Laxmi aggrieved over Lord Jagannath leaving the temple with his siblings, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra, confronts Him. This ritual is a reflection of the domestic affair between Goddess Laxmi and Lord Jagannath.

The servitors carry the deity in a palanquin to Gundicha Temple. On arriving at the temple, she expresses her anger, following which, the Lord acknowledges her feelings and gives her agyaan mala assuring her that he would soon return to their abode.

While leaving the temple, she breaks a part of the Lord Jagannath’s chariot Nandighosha. This ritual is known as Rath Bhanga.

Meanwhile, thousands of devotees flocked to Gundicha Temple for darshan of the deities on ‘Adapa Mandap’ on Wednesday.

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