Puri: A day before Snana Yatra, servitors of Jagannath Temple began the secret ritual of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra on Wednesday morning.
The secret ritual, known as ‘senapata lagi’, which began at 7 am, is performed to protect the body of the Lords during their Pahandi Bije (procession) to the Snana Mandap (bathing altar) near Anand Bazar facing the Bada Danda (Grand Road).
During the senapata ritual, the Daitapati servitors apply a paste made of Baula Katha (piece of wood of Baula tree) to the body of the Lords.
Since the duration of the ritual is four hours, the temple will remain closed for the devotees during the period.
Meanwhile, preparation of the Tahia (crown of the Lords made of flowers) for the Pahandi Bije of the Lords by the florists is going on at Raghab Das Matha while for the Hati Besha (elephant attire) of the Lords the work is underway at the Raghab Das Matha and Gopala Tirtha Matha.
To facilitate smooth darshan of the Lords at the Snana Mandap, barricades have been put near Simhadwara of the temple.