Significance of Hera Panchami in Srimandira of Puri in Odisha

Puri: Hera Panchami is a unique celebration that is observed on the fifth day of Rath Yatra. During the holy Ratha Jatra, Lord Jagannath comes out of Srimandira, His abode in Puri, with His brother Lord Balabhadra and sister Goddess Subhadra along with His divine weapon Sri Sudarshana for a nine-day sojourn to the Gundicha temple, leaving behind his wife Goddess Mahalaxmi at the Sri Mandira.

Legend has it that to vent out her anger on Lord Jagannath for being left behind, His consort Goddess Mahalaxmi leaves for Gundicha temple in a palanquin on the fifth day and asks Lord Jagannath to return back soon. To make Her pleased, the Lord concedes to Her by offering her agyan mala (a garland of consent). However the servitors of Lord Jagannath close the main door of the Gundicha temple seeing the Goddess furious.

Insulted by the development, Mahalaxmi returns to the main temple through the Nakachana gate. In a unique ritual, the Goddess orders one of her attendants to damage a part of the Nandighosa chariot. After some time, she escapes to her home temple in secrecy, through a separate path way known as Hera Gouri lane.

The episode said to have drawn its origin from the Skanda Purana, the holy Hindu text.

Hera Panchami is observed in the holy town Puri in Odisha with massive participation of devotees.

(With inputs from Wikipedia)

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