Puri: Devotees will be barred from having darshan of the deities at Puri Jagannath Temple for five hours on Monday for the ‘Paita Lagi’ ritual.
According to the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), devotees will not be allowed to have darshan of the deities from 5 pm to 10 pm for this ritual.
Paita is the colloquial Odia term for Upavita or Yajnopavita. The worshipped idols of Shree Jagannath temple are made up of Daru or wood. They need regular maintenance. Daitapati sevayats are in charge of the duty to protect the wooden deities. They perform the ‘Paita Lagi’ ritual every year to protect the idols from the vagaries of season change during winter months.
After the Madhyahna Dhupa and second Bhoga Mandap food offerings, the Pushpalaka servitors perform Mailam or remove the flowers and clothes from the deities. The images of Shreedevi and Bhudevi on the Ratna Singhasana are taken to the Khataseja chamber by the Mahajana sevayats.
Then the Daitapati sevayats enter the Garbhagruha or inner sanctum of the temple to perform ‘Paita Lagi’. Special Basunga Pata cloth is rolled up to take shape of strings. These strings are used to add up a net-like structure to the upper body of the deities and their Shree Bhuja (hands). As per the special terminology of the Shree Mandir, this is known as ‘Paita Lagi’.
This covering acts as a support for Chandan Lagi or anointment of sandalwood paste. During winter months the deities wear heavy and thick clothes that cover up most parts of their bodies. ‘Paita Lagi’ structure also helps in putting on these heavy clothes.
During Paita Lagi the Jaya Vijay Dwara (door) of the temple remains closed. Paita Lagi is done in seclusion. Only Daitapati sevayats take part in this ritual. After end of Paita Lagi, idols of Shreedevi and Bhudevi are brought back to the Ratna Singhasana. Jaya Vijay Dwara is reopened for devotees to have darshan of Shree Jagananth, Shree Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra.