Odisha

7 Lesser Known Facts About Suna Besha Ritual

**Bhubaneswar:** ‘Suna Besha’ of the Holy Trinity – Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra – is a thing of eternal beauty and joy for a life time. As on this auspicious occasion, the three deities are adorned with gaudy gold jewellery in ample quantum, below are some other facts about Suna Besha that only few people know about.

1: Suna Besha ritual on the chariots is only observed during the Bahuda Yatra or Bahuda Ekadashi also known as Asadha Ekadashi. But, it is observed four more times in a year inside the temple during Magha Purnima, Dashahara (Vijyadashami), Karthik Purnima and Pousa Purnima when the deities are adorned with the ornaments on the Ratna Singhasana (gem studded altar).

2: Hands and feet of Lord Jagannath and Balabhadra are decorated with gold plates during the Suna Besha. Besides, Lord Jagannath is also adorned with a golden ‘Chakra’ (disc) on the right hand while a silver conch adorns the left hand. Elder brother Balabhadra is decorated with a plough made of gold on the left hand while a golden ‘gada’ (mace) adorns the right hand. Devi Subhadra is also prettily adorned with her best golden and diamond ornaments.

3: The gold ornaments used during the Suna Besha are known as Sri Hasta (golden hand), Sri Payar (golden feet), Sri Mukuta (golden big crown), Sri Mayur Chandrika (a golden peacock feather used by Lord Jagannath), Sri Chulapati (golden forehead costume which highlights facial beauty), Sri Kundal (golden hanging earrings), Sri Rahurekha (half square shaped decorative for the face), Sri Mala (necklaces with several design made of gold), Sri Chita (third eye of gods), Sri Chakra (golden wheel), Sri Gada (golden bludgeon), Sri Padma (golden lotus), Sri Sank (silver conch).

4: The various designs of Sri Mala are Padam Mala (Lotus Shaped), Sevati Mala (Small Sun flower shape), Agasti Mala (Moon shape), Kadamba Mala (Kadamba flower design or round ball shape), Kante Mala (Big gold beads design), Mayur Mala (Peacock feather shape) and Champa Mala (Yellow Champa flower shape).

5: The Sri Chita which denotes the third eye of gods is represented separately for each of the deities. On a Golden plate there are eight precious gems and in the center it is found a pure jewel. Lord Jagannath’s forehead is affixed with a diamond and Goddess Subhadra’s forehead is decorated with an emerald (panna). These forehead ornamentations are removed when the deities are brought out during the Deb Snana Purnima. They are then redecorated when the deities return to the sanctum sanctorum on the day called Chitalagai Amavasya Day which is observed on New-Moon day of the lunar month of Shravana.

6: The gold ornaments are stored at the temple’s treasury known as Bhitaara Bhandaraghara. According to the “Records of Rights” of the Srimandir the Bhandara (store) has 150 gold articles comprising three necklaces of approximately 1.4 kg each, limbs (hands and feet) of Jagannatha and Balabhadra made in gold of approximately 9 kg and 8 kg. Also recorded are decorative crowns of the deities Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra in the order of approximately 7 kg, 5 kg and 3 kg in weight. When the jewellery is brought out for decorating the deities on the chariots, armed policemen accompany it along with a minimum of 25 storekeepers. Except the priests and the servitors, no one else is allowed to remain on the chariots for security reasons.

7: According to temple history, Suna Bhesha was introduced during the era of King Kapilendradeva in 1460 A.D. When King Kapilendradeva, who ruled between 1434 and 1466 AD, returned home triumphant after winning wars over the rulers of the Deccan (Southern India) he brought a huge bounty carried on 16 elephants. The trophies which he collected consisted of diamonds and gold. The day he arrived in Puri he donated all the booty to Lord Jagannath. He instructed the temple priests to get ornaments crafted out of the gold and diamond to adorn the deities on occasion of Rath Yatra. Since then the deities are decorated with these jewellery after the Bahuda Yatra.

**Also Read:** [Devotees Flock Puri For Suna Besa Of Holy Trinity](http://www.ommcomnews.com/public/devotees-flock-puri-for-suna-besa-of-holy-trinity)

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