Puri: The holy city of Puri is bathed in the glow of the annual three-day Deba Dipabali festival, beginning today at the iconic Jagannath Temple. During this sacred period, Lord Jagannath observes “shraadha,” offering prayers and blessings to his ancestors.
The rituals take place on Krushna Paksha Chaturdashi, Amavasya, and Pratipada in the Margasira month. Each day holds a different significance:
Day 1: Lord Jagannath offers “pinda” (rice balls) to King Indradyumna and Queen Gundicha Devi, who are credited with establishing the Chaturdhamurti deities in Srimandir.
Day 2: The Lord pays respects to his biological parents, King Dasaratha and Queen Kaushalya, along with his foster parents, King Basudev and Queen Devaki.
Day 3: The final day sees Lord Jagannath offer “pinda” to his beloved foster parents, Nanda and Yashoda.
Throughout these three days, the deities are adorned in the exquisite “Shraadha Besha,” wearing white clothing and adorned with shimmering gold jewelry. Witnessing this special attire is a rare and sacred experience for devotees.
Puja Panda servitors, entrusted with the responsibility of performing rituals on behalf of Lord Jagannath, diligently carry out the sacred ceremonies. The climax of each day arrives in the evening when the majestic Mahadeepa, a large earthen lamp, is hoisted and placed atop the Srimandir, casting a radiant glow across the temple complex.
The spirit of Deba Dipabali extends beyond the temple walls, capturing the hearts of Puri’s residents. Homes are illuminated with twinkling diyas, creating a warm and festive atmosphere. Notably, the grand Bada Danda (Grand Road) will be adorned with a dazzling display of one lakh diyas tomorrow, courtesy of the Odisha International Centre and Chhatisha Nijog.