Puri Rath Yatra: Adhara Pana Ritual Of Deities Held Atop Chariots

Bhubaneswar: Adhara Pana, the ritual of offering a sweetened drink to the deities of Lord Jagannath and His siblings Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra atop their chariots-Nandighosha, Taladhwaja, and Darpadalana parked in front of the Shree Mandir at Puri concluded in the evening today.

Keeping with the order of the Supreme Court issued last year in view of the raging Covid-19 pandemic, the ritual was carried out by the sevayats (servitors) without congregation of devotees on the Bada Danda (Grand Road) for the second consecutive year.

As per tradition, Pana, a sweetened drink made of milk, sugar, cheese, ripe bananas, camphor, nutmeg, black pepper and herbs like Holy Basil among others, was offered to the deities by the servitors in nine huge cylindrical earthen pitchers measuring over a metre each in height to touch the lips (adhara) of the deities atop the chariots.

Three pitchers each filled with the drink were placed on each chariot in front of the deities of Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath as an offering.

Also, another three earthen pitchers of smaller size filled with the Pana is offered one each to the representative deities (Bijaya Pratimas) of Madanamohana, Rama and Krushna.

While the deity of Madamohana accompanies Lord Jagannath on the Nandighosha chariot on the nine-day-long sojourn,  the deities of Ram and Krushna accompany Lord Balabhadra on the Taladhwaja chariot.

The pitchers are later smashed by the servitors after the Pana was offered to the deities on completion of pancha upachara pooja.

It is believed that the Pana that spills over the chariots after the breaking of the pitchers by the servitors is not meant for devotees rather it’s an offering for the parswa devatas (subsidiary deities) on the chariot and spirits that had accompanied the Lords on the chariots during their nine-day-long sojourn.

While Raghav Das Mutt and Odia Mutt provide three potfuls of ingredients each for the preparation of the Pana, the remaining ingredients are provided by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA).