Puri Srimandir to remain closed after 4 pm today

Puri: The Srimandir at Odisha’s Puri will remain closed today due to ‘Banaka Lagi’ or Srimukha sringara ritual of Lord Jagannath and his siblings at the temple. The darshan of the deities will be restricted for the devotees after 4 PM today.

The Shree Jagannatha Temple Administration (SJTA) has decided to close the temple after 4 pm as the ritual will take almost four hours.

Only a small group of ‘pujaris’ will be allowed inside the ‘garba gruha’ or sanctum sanctorum for the rituals.

The Holy Trinity (Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadra) along with Lord Sudarshan of Puri Sri Mandir will adorn a new look after a special make-up ritual on the ratnabedi. The ritual is performed seven to eight times a year.

Banaka Lagi derives its name from ‘Bana’ meaning forest and ‘Lagi’ meaning apply. According to culture experts, certain rare forest products are used to prepare the four types of colours- haritala (red), hengula (yellow), sankha (white) and black and these are then applied to the face of the deities. Banaka Lagi ritual of the deities is performed by a particular class of servitor known as Datta Mahapatra.

It is noteworthy that the darshan timings will be from 7 AM to 9 PM on all days except for one day as the temple will remain closed for public Darshan on all Sundays as a measure to contain the spread of Corona Virus disease and in order to sanitize the temple premises.

The temple will also remain closed on major festive occasions in order to avoid any spike in the transmission of COVID-19 on account of the large gathering that is anticipated on such festive occasions. In November, the temple will remain closed for darshan on November 4 (Deepavali), November 15 (Bada Ekadashi) and November 19 (Kartika Purnima).

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