Sevayats Defy SJTA Warning, Refuse to Perform Banakalagi Rituals of Deities of Puri Srimandir

Puri: Defying the warning of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), the sevayats (servitors) of the temple did not perform the Banakalagi ritual of the deities on Wednesday.

The SJTA has warned to take severe disciplinary action against the concerned servitors. But it did not have any impact on the servitors.

The Banakalagi ritual was initially to be held on July 1. But it has not been performed till now because of the tussle between the Dutta Mohapatra sevayats related to Banakalagi and the SJTA regarding the choice of appropriate day for its performance.

The SJTA wants the ritual to be performed on Wednesdays while the servitors want to perform it on Thursdays.

The impasse continues for over three weeks. The SJTA had threatened to remove servitors from service if they did not perform Banakalagi on Wednesday. Accoridng  to SJTA conducting Banakalagi on Thursdays would disrupt other crucial rituals.

The SJTA issued a notice to the Dutta Mohapatra Nijog, seeking an explanation for their non-compliance and their insistence on Thursday as the ritual day. The administration also hinted at engaging the Sudha Suar Nijog, another group of servitors, to perform the ritual if the order was violated.

The Dutta Mohapatra Nijog, continues with its demand to perform the Banakalagi on Thursday.

During Banakalagi the servitors apply fresh colours on the idols to restore their original look. The ‘Banaka’ is prepared from different types of natural colours like Hingula, Haritala, Kasturi, Keshar and the glue of Kaintha to be later applied to the idols.

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