Puri: After Rath Yatra and Nagarjuna Besha, devotees are likely to miss the ‘Padma Mukha Besha’ of the sibling deities of Jagannath Temple in Odisha’s Puri. It will be held on Sunday (February 14).
The reason: The temple administration’s decision to shut the shrine for sanitisation on Sundays due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The sevayats, however, have demanded keeping the temple open for devotees as the deities are adorned with Padma Mukha Besha once a year.
According to the tradition, the rituals are performed on Saturday night and devotees allowed to witness the Besha of the Lords the following morning.
Sevayat Rabishankar Pujapanda said that devotees often visit the temple on Sundays since it a holiday and will be disappointed to find it closed. “They should be allowed to enter the temple for a glimpse of ‘Padma Mukha Besha,” he said while arguing that COVID-19 has subsided in Odisha.
For smooth darshan of the deities, devotees may be allowed to enter the temple through the three others gates, including the Singhadwar, he added.
“The demand of the servitors and the devotees will be discussed in the coming managing committee meeting and a decision will be taken soon,” said Jagannath Temple Development Administrator Ajay Kumar Jena.
Notably, Padma Besha is done on any Wednesday or Saturday between the new moon day of Magha and Basanta Panchami.