**Puri:** Lakhs of devotees thronged the temple city of Puri from across the country and abroad to witness the Bahuda Yatra or the homecoming festival of the Trinity, amidst tight security. This day is considered more auspicious this year as it coincides with Sudasa Brata or Laxmi Puja conducted by married ladies across the State.
After the Sandhya Darshan on Wednesday, the devotees were stopped to get a glimpse of their Lords in Gundicha Mandir, as the proceedings for the preparations of the Bahuda Yatra of the Trinity was to be initiated, said the temple authorities.
Bahuda Yatra is the Homecoming Journey of the three deities, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadra to the Jagannath temple.
After spending a week in the Garden House or Gundicha Temple, the deities commence their Bahuda Yatra on the tenth day of Asadha. The return journey follows the same rituals and schedule as followed in Rath Yatra.
Taladhwaja, Lord Balabhadra’s chariot moves first, followed by Darpadalana, chariot of Goddess Subhadra and Nandighosa, chariot of Lord Jagannath.
On their way back, the three chariots will stop awhile at Ardhasini Temple, popularly called as Mausima Mandir, or the Temple of the Aunt. Here, the Lords are offered Poda Pitha, an Odia delicacy prepared from rice, coconut,lentils and jaggery.
The three chariots will then be pulled by thousands of devotees back to the main temple till the Lions Gate or Singhadwara. The Trinity remain on their respective chariots on that day.
Next day, the Lords are offered a refreshing drink called ‘Adhara Pana’, a sweet scented drink made up of milk, sugar, cheese, banana, camphor, black pepper,nutmeg and various other ingredients. In local language, Adhara means lips and Pana means a kind of drink.
It is offered in huge cylindrical earthen pots reaching up to the lips of the deities and the quantity amounts to nearly 100 litres..
The evening sees the three Lords decked up in glittering gold ornaments on their respective chariots, and provide the devotees the darshan of their ‘Suna Besha’. Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra are adorned with hands and feet made of gold.
Next day, the Holy Trinity retires back to the sanctum sanctorum of the main temple after some rituals.