Puri: The Grand Road (Bada Danda) in the pilgrim town of Puri turned into a sea of humanity as lakhs of devotees witnessed the Hati Besha (elephant attire) of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra on Thursday.
The Hati Besha of the Lords began at 5 pm.
The Lords were adorned with the Hati Besha after the Chhera Panhara (cleaning) of the Mandap was conducted by the Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingh Deb at 3.30 pm.
The Sahana Mela darshan of the Lords will continue for two hours from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm which will be followed by Pushpanjali and Dora Lagi rituals at 10 pm.
The Bahuda Pahandi of the Lords to the ‘Anasar Ghar’ will begin at 10.30 pm and last till 1.30 am after which the servitors will perform Sunachita and Rahurekha Mailam Niti at 2 am inside the ‘Anasar Ghar’. Here they will be given herbal treatment as it is believed that the Lords get fever after the ceremonial bath.
The district administration has made elaborate security arrangements with deployment of 42 platoons of police force and 250 police officers for the smooth conduct of the festival.
Barricades have been put up in front of the Simhadwara of the temple to facilitate the smooth darshan of the Lords. For the Sahana Mela darshan of the Lords, the devotees will enter the temple through the Simhadwara and exit through the Uttaradwara after the darshan.