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Adorned with marigolds

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The Puri triad in Nabanka Besha.
The Puri triad in Nabanka Besha.

SARAT CHANDRA

It is for the adornment known as Nabanka Basha, marigold is used profusely.

One day before the Makar Sankranti, myriad marigold flowers deck Lord Jagannath and his two companion deities, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra. It is for the adornment known as Nabanka Basha, held every year. Marigold is used profusely for this Besha.This once-in-a year adornment (held on 13 January this year) takes place late in the night, before the pre-retiring ritual. Marigold flowers add to the golden hue and makes the ritual extremely attractive. But to understand the Nabanka Besha, one must be aware that this is a confluence. Apart from floral and solapith adornment, some objects of the everyday use of Bada Singhara Besha and Ghodalagi Besha are also in the Nabanka Besha.Readers might be aware that Ghodalagi Besha is held for a two-month period, until Basanta Panchami and so at the time of Nabanka Besha the decorative clothes and the pointed headgears are on the deities. Certain floral objects (like the large-size garland Sripayaramala and the round shaped Hrudapadaka of the everyday Bada Singhara Besha are also to be found in the Nabanka Besha. Only the weapons of the two elder gods (Sankha, chakra of Lord Jagannath; and hala, mushala of Lord Balabhadra ) are made of solapith and foil.The deities of the Puri temple are supposed to go to sleep every night for which certain pre-retiring rituals are held. But on the night before the Makara Sankranti, Nabanka Besha takes place. After the adornment is done, the supper of lord Jagannath is offered and then the deity goes to sleep, while the Nabanka Besha adornments remain on the person of the deity until the next morning.

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