Puri, Jun 28 (PTI) The annual ceremonial bathing ritual of the presiding deities of Shree Jagannath temple here was celebrated today amid tight security in the presence of thousands of devotees. Also Read - Madhya Pradesh MPPEB Recruitment 2021: 4,000 Police Constable Posts Notified | Check Details

The ceremonial public bath, known as the ‘Snana Jatra’ ceremony of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra and is held on Deva Snana Purnima, was witnessed by a large number of devotees from across Odisha and outside. Also Read - Master Actor Vijay Sethupathi Apologises For Cutting Cake With Sword, Netizens Call Out For His Arrest

The ritual was performed on the bathing altar known as the ‘Snana Mandap’ in which priests poured 108 pitchers of aromatic sacred water on the deities. Also Read - Doctors at Delhi's RML Hospital Demand Covishield, Not Covaxin Shots Citing 'Lack of Complete Trial'

The water is traditionally drawn from a well situated inside the sprawling temple complex.

The bathing ceremony followed a grand procession called ‘pahandi’ in which the deities along with the idol of ‘Sudarshan’ were taken out from the sanctum sanctorum to the bathing altar in a majestic manner.

After the bathing ritual, the deities were attired with ‘Gajanana Vesha’ (elephant dress). Lord Jagannath adorns the elephant attire to please his Maharastrian devotees who worship Lord Ganesh.

The ‘Snana Jatra’ is a significant ritual in the run-up to the annual ‘Rath Jatra’ festival of Lord Jagannath.

It is held on the full moon day of the Hindu month of ‘Jyestha’, considered to be the birthday of Lord Jagannath.

According to the Skanda Purana, King Indradyumna, who had installed the wooden deities of the deities in the 12th century shrine, introduced the bathing ritual.

Elaborate arrangements were made for smooth conduct of the annual event and security personnel in strength have been deployed in and around the shrine. Over 100 CCTV cameras have been installed to monitor the bathing ritual of the deities and movement of devotees.

Patrolling by police personnel was stepped up and special steps were taken to regulate vehicular traffic for the event, according Puri police superintendent Sarthak Sarangi.

Arrangements were made to enable the public to witness the ritual from behind barricades.

Globally acclaimed sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik sculpted a sand art at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar on the occasion.

“On the auspicious occasion of Deva Snana Purnima, Pray Lord Jagannath for peace and happiness of all,” he said in a message.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.