Puri: The painting of ‘Nara Birala’ on the chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra has triggered a controversy in Puri. While the Maharana (carpenter) servitors have opposed to the paintings and said that it is differs from the tradition, the Rupakar (painter) servitors have said that there is nothing wrong in it.
‘Nara Birala’ is a mythical creature with human head and animal’s torso. The Maharana Sevayats, Bijay Mahapatra and Narayana Maharana said they have not seen such images on the chariots before and said it is against the tradition.
On the other hand, the Rupakar sevayats said they have been painting these art on the chariots since ages. The temple administration has intervened to resolve the issue. According to reports, most of the work on the chariots have been completed.
Meanwhile, the ‘Khali Lagi’ rituals of the Lords were carried out on ‘Ekadashi’, as per the Hindu calendar today. This is a secret ritual held on the eleventh day of ‘Anasara Ghara’. A soft, white pulp-like paste prepared from white grains and sandal is massaged on the idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra.
Following this, the Lords are offered Modaka, a herbal supplement prepared from medicated fruits, flowers, and roots. Rath Yatra will be held on ‘Ashadha Shukla Paksha Dwitiya’ which falls on 12th July this year. Preparations are in full flow on the ‘Rath Khala’ and Bada Danda, in general for observing the divine annual fest amid Covid restrictions.