Lesser Known Facts About Suna Besha Ritual

Puri: ‘Suna Besha’ of the Holy Triad – Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra – is a thing of eternal beauty and joy for a lifetime. 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 a few people know about.

Also known as Raja Besha or Rajarajeshwara Besha, the Suna Besha of the deities is observed five times in a year when the Lord and His siblings adorn with gold and jewellery.  But the one observed during Bahuda is called the Bada-Tadau Besha, where Tadau stands for gold. The amount of gold in this is much more than in all Suna Beshas.

The Bada-Tadau Besha is the only Suna Besha done outside the temple in the chariots. The other four Beshas’ are observed inside the temple on the Ratna Singhasana (gem-studded altar).

On this occasion gold plates, Sri Bhuja and Sri Payara, are decorated over the hands and feet of Jagannath and Balabhadra. Lord Jagannath is also adorned with a disc, Chakra, made of gold on the right hand while a silver conch adorns the left hand.

However, Balabhadra is decorated with a plough, Halla, made of gold on the left hand while a golden mace, Mushala, adorns his right hand.

The other ornaments that the deities adorn are Harida Kadamba mali and Baghanakhi mali, only for Lord Jagannath, Kiritta, Ears, Bahada mali, Tabija mali or garlands, Kadamba mali, Sebati mali and Tilaka, Adakani, Chadra-Surya, Allaka, Odiani, Chandrika and Tadaki.

This year’s Suna Besha is scheduled to start at 4 PM today. Devotees are not allowed near the chariots in view of the Supreme Court’s order to contain spread of COVID-19. However, they can watch live telecast of the ritual on television or smartphones and have darshan of the deities.