Bahuda Yatra – The Return Festival of Lord Sree Jagannath, Puri Rath Yatra

King Indradumnya asked the Lord to keep him issuless, as then nobody will be able to claim the Jagannath temple as his own. The Lord agreed but queen Gundicha was aghast – with no earthly heirs she took the Lord to be her son and extracted a promise that he will visit his Gundicha home for a week every year. According to some treatises of Mahabharata Subhadra, wanted to visit Dwarka, her parent’s home, and her brothers took her back to Dwarka on this day. Thus, The Chariot Festival or The Car Festival or popularly called as Rath Yatra is a commemoration of that visit.

Another legend says, the festival has its foundation in the residents of Vrindavan bringing back their Lords, Krishna, Balaram and Lady Subhadra from Kurukshetra.

The Bhagavad Purana says that it was on this day that Krishna and Balarama went to Mathura to participate in a wrestling competition, at Kansa’s invitation. When the brothers were ready to leave for Mathura, the Gopis and Gopals – blocked their way and relented only when the Lord consoled them and allayed their fears. The Festival commemorates this overwhelming separation.

On the day of Rath Yatra the chariots of Lady Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra reach directly the Gundicha temple, the chariot of Lord Jagannath stops at his Mausima (Aunt’s) Goddess Ardhamsini temple. Here the Lord is offered with Poda Pitha then the chariot proceeds towards the Gundicha Temple. After reaching the Gundicha Temple the Lords receive all the routine Rituals same as they used to receive in the main temple.

The Lords reach the Gundicha temple. There, in their Garden House, Adapa Mandapa, also known as their place of birth, the deities stay for seven days. On the ninth day of the festival, Bahuda Jatra, the grand return journey takes place. On the way back they stop for a short while and partake of poda pitha (sweet reciepie), a type of cake made of rice, lentils, jaggery and coconut, offered by their aunt. On reaching back the main temple, the deities, on their chariots, don the golden attire or the suna besa, with hands, arms and crown made of solid gold. They are also offered sweet drinks, adhara pana, on huge cylindrical earthen pots reaching up to their lips. They are taken down from the chariots in a ritual descent to enter the temple.

The Lord does not have it easy however – Goddess Laxmi, angry at the Lord having left her alone refuses him entry into the temple. Her anger, jealousy and frustration is articulated by her companions, represented by a group of servitors from inside. Another group representing Lord Jagannatha respond with entreaties and endearments. The Lord has to answer 9 questiones posed by the Goddess. In the answer, equality between all devotees and social status and freedom of ladies are recognised by the Lord. After re-enacting this drama of daily domestic tiffs of mere mortals, the celestial couple finally make up.

The Lord uses Oriya in his cajoling of Goddess Laxmi – there are many versions but it basically starts and end this way:

Who are you? (Kia aschi)

 I’m Ramanatha Nathoramayah (husband of Rama or Maya)

But why should Maya’s husband come to see Laxmi ?

Who is Laxmi to Him ?

The Lord says, “Laxmi is my life, she is in my heart”


If Laxmi was in His heart, why should He come searching for her here. The lord wonders – Where is the cool touch of the sea, the liquid lucidity of the looks of Payodhitanaya in her words.

 According to some versions Lord Balabhadra or Borthakur intervenes:

 “Hey Bhadre ! if my brother, Jagannatha is a wrongdoer for lapses, if any, I too am not free from your accusation. Our darling Subhadra accompanied us because of the candid wish of both the brothers and not of Jagannatha alone. Subhadra cannot remain without her brothers. And so, you were left in the temple for the genuine reason best known to you.

 After all, you are the divine proprietress of the grand temple. Mind not my brother’s mistake, if any. Now open the door and let my brother enter the sanctum of the temple.”

 The lady ‘Goddess Lakshmi’ gives in and finally the Lord moves into his own house house i.e in devotion called as Sree Mandir – Sree Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri dham.

In the answer, equality between all devotees and social status and freedom of ladies are recognised by the Lord. After re-enacting this drama of daily domestic tiffs of mere mortals, the celestial couple finally make up.

 And thus ends with “Bahuda Yatra or Bahuda Jatra” – one of the inseperable part of Sree Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra.

This year the return journey or Bahuda Yatra or Bahuda Jatra or Ulto Rath Yatra is celebrated on July 21’ 2010. Then you can witness the Lords in their Golden Attire – Suna Bhesa ritual on July 22 on Bada Danda, Puri and after the symbolic Laxmi-Narayan feud, the deities “Lord Jagannath, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra  will enter SreeMandir on July 23’ 2010 bringing to an end the grand festival of Rath yatra – The Car festival

 Toshali Sands, Puri has exclusive arrangement to take you to be the part of  The Lord Jagannath Temple “Bahuda Yatra” on 21st July’2010, and entry to Sree mandir on 21st July 2010. To know more, leave your comment or contact travel desk ‘metu@toshali.in, we will get back to you.

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SreeMandir Traditional Holy Attires or Bhesa of Sree Lord Jagannath, Puri

In Hindu mythologies and rituals Gods and Goddesses are revered and loved just as family. Probably belonging to the bhakti yoga culture popularized by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – they wake up to strains of music, are offered prasadas, bathed, anointed with fragrances, dressed in finery and jewelry and fall asleep to lullabies. You can either view it as humanization of a deity or the acknowledgement of the Lord’s omnipresence.

In the Sree Mandir tradition of Sree Lord Jagannath, Puri there are altogether 24 beshas or Holy Attires or Ritual Costumes or  the Vastra Shringar of which 22 are used regularly while two beshas are used rarely. The Nagarjuna and Raghunath Besha. In all the attires or bhesas, Sree Lord Jagannath is the focal point except for the Pralambasurabadha Besha used to commemorate slaying of a demon of same name by Sree Lord Balabhadra.

The bhesas or the holy attires are:

  • Abakasha or Tadapa Uttari Bhesa

This is done daily, after mangala arati. Abakash is the tooth brushing and bathing ritual.

abakasa copy

  • Badasrunghara Bhesa

It is the nightly retirement dress. This is mostly made of different kinds of flowers and silk clothes.

Badasrunghara copy

  • Chandana Bhesa

This bhesa is done for 42 days, beginning on Akshaya Trutiya.

chandan copy

  • Hati Bhesa or Gajanana Bhesa

On the full moon day of the month of Jyestha, after the bathing ceremony is over, the Deities are dressed to resemble Lord Ganesha.

gajanana copy

  • Suna Bhesa

When the Deities return from the Gundicha Mandir on their chariots, they appear in the Golden dress. It is said that a darshan of the lord in Suna Bhesa frees one from the cycle of rebirth.

suna copy

  • Raja Bhesa

The Lord dresses up in this attire on the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Aswina, the full moon of Pousa and the full moon of Phalguna.

raja copy

  • Banabhoji Bhesa

On the 10th day of the dark fortnight in Bhadra, the Lords are dressed for a picnic, like the cowherds.

banabhoji copy

  • Kaliyadalana Bhesa

On the 11th day of the dark fortnight of Bhadra the Lord is dressed as Krishna the slayer of serpent Kaliya.

kaliadalana copy

  • Pralambasura Badha Bhesa

On the following day, the 12th day of the dark fortnight of Bhadra the Lords are dressed to commemorate Lord Balaram’s slaying of the demon Prahlamba. his is the only beshas when Lord Jagannath’s elder brother Lord Balabhadra occupied the central place.

pralambasurabadha copy

  • Krishna-Balarama Bhesa

On the 13th day of the dark fortnight of Bhadra, the Lords are dressed as Krishna and Balarama.

krushnabalarama copy

  • Bali Vamana Bhesa

On the 12th day of the bright fortnight Bhadra, the Lord is dressed in the image of his reincarnation as Vamana, the slayer of demon Bali.

bamana copy

  • Radha-Damodara Bhesa

From the 11th day of the bright fortnight of Ashwina to the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika, the Lords are dressed with a rope around his waist in reminiscence of his bal-leela with mother Yashoda.

radhadamodara copy

  • Thiakia or Laxmi-Narayana Bhesa

This bhesa is used on the 11th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika.

costumes_laxminarayana copy

  • Bankachuda Bhesa

The curly haired make-up. Used on the 12th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika.

bankachuda copy

  • Adakia or Trivikrama Bhesa

Attire used on the 13th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika.

tribikram copy

  • Dalikia Bhesa or Laxmi Nrisimha Bhesa

Used on the 14th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika.

laxminrusingha copy

  • Raja Rajeswari Bhesa

Attire on the full moon of Kartika.

rajarajeswari

  • Chacheri Bhesa

From the 9th day of the bright fortnight to the full moon of Jyestha except the 14th day, this dress is used.

chacheri copy

  • Nagarjuna Bhesa

In honor of Parasurama. It is used only occasionally – during the month of Kartika, when there are six days of Panchaka. This was done six times in the last 30 years on 11/3/95, 11/16/94, 11/26/93, 11/3/68, 11/16/67 and 11/26/66.

Nagarjuna Bhesa copy

  • Ghodalagi and Jamalagi Bhesa

From the 6th day of the bright fortnight of Margasira (Odhan Sasthi) to the 5th day of the bright fortnight of Magha (Basanta Panchami) to Dol Purnima – the Deities wear winter clothes.

Ghodalagi copy

  • Padma Bhesa

On Saturdays or Wednesdays between the new moon of Magha and Basanta Panchami. The dresses are made from lotus, sola lace and paper.

Padma Bhesa copy

  • Gaja Uddharana Bhesa

On the full moon day of the month of Magha. It commemorates the story of Gajendra, the king of the elephants, and the alligator.

Gajaudharana Bhesa copy

Toshali Sands, Puri has exclusive arrangement to take you on visit to the “Sree Mandir” – The Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri Orissa ‘now called as Odisha”. To Know more, leave your comment or contact travel desk ‘metu@toshali.in, we will get back to you.

I would be glad to hear more about the Holy Ritual Costume or Attires or Bhesas, please post if you feel any information’s in the blog is missing. And would be gald to have you as their guest at Toshali Sands.

I trust you enjoyed this post, I would appreciate, if you share it on Twitter, Facebook, Orkut and other Social Networking sites.

“Shankha Khyetram”: The Holy Conch Shell Province of Lord Jagannath, Puri

The holy land of Orissa is divided into four kshetras. These kshetras are named after the four names of weapons of Lord Vishnu such as Shankha (conch shell), chakra (disc), gada (mace) and padma (lotus). Puri Dham is known as Shankha Kshetra. Bhubaneswar is Chakra Kshetra, Jajpura is Gada Kshetra, and Konark is Padma Kshetra (sometimes Ark Kshetra after the sun god)

The geographical size of Puri resembles a right oriented conch shell, the ‘Dakshinavarta Shankha’, which is why the name. The sacred section of puri looks like a conch shell and it is in this section that all the sacred centres like temples, mathas (English word for this), sacred tanks, trees and various other sacred sites are located. The Shankha Kshetra covers an area of roughly 10 square miles, out of which nearly 40% is submerged under the sea.

Tantric layout of Shankha Kshetra

Shankha Kshetra of Puri includes the Temple of Lord Jagannath and its huge compound circumscribed by a wall called Meghanada Pacheri. The temple complex is surrounded by streets or sahi, running in all directions from the temple. The sebakas (English word) live in the streets, which are close to the temple and monasteries, temples of several gods and goddesses, sacred tanks and trees, recreational and gymnastic centres (Jegaghar and Akhada (english word)) are located in different places scattered throughout the town.

The shape of the sacred section of Puri resembles a conch shell (Shankha) and, therefore, it is also known as the Shankha Kshetra. Like the other names, that is, Shri Khetra and Purusottam Khetra, which have bearing on the Lord Jagannath, the paramount deity of Puri, Shankha Kshetra has equal ritual and symbolic significance.  The name Shankha Kshetra is the most significant because Shankha is one of the Aiyudhas or weapons of Lord Vishnu who resides in the navel or the central part of the shell in the form of Lord Jagannath. Shankha Kshetra is about 10 miles in extent, of which nearly two koshas are submerged in the sea and the remaining three koshas are above water.

In the centre of the Kshetra lies the hillock called Nilagiri where the famous temple of the Lord Jagannath stands. The broad end of the Shankha Kshetra lies to the west where the temple of Lokanath, one of the eight noted Shiva Temples of Puri is located and on the apical end or the cone in the east, is located another Shiva Temple called the Nilakantha. The area between the two temples is two miles and is the most sacred.

Tantric layout of Shankha Khyetram
Tantric layout of Shankha Khyetram

According to the Tantric philosophy, the Shankha Kshetra is made up of seven concentric folds.

  • The innermost or first fold, which forms the navel, or the Kshetra, is the seat of the divine platform on which the Lord Jagannath with his elder brother Balabhadra and their sister Subhadra are presiding.
  • The second fold, which is the outer layer of the first or the innermost fold, is hexagonal in shape and in this are located four goddesses of power, two tirthas, two sacred trees, Garuda (vehicle of Lord Vishnu) and the top of the Nilgiri hill which is convex like the back of a tortoise. The goddesses are Bimala, Kamala, Sarbamangala and Uttaral. The sacred trees are Kalpapadapa and Salmalitaru. The tirthas are Rohinikunda and Pranitodakakunda.
  • The third fold, is the central part of the lotus-like structure having eight petals, each inlaid with an idol of Lord Shiva and a goddess. The eight Shivas are Agneswar, Bateswar, Khetrapaleswar, Chakreswar, Baikuntheswar, Pataleswar, Isaneswar, and Lokeswar. The eight goddesses are Dwarabasini, Mahabajreswari, Swanabhairabi, Bhadrakali, Bhubaneswari, Mahakaliaghorea, Sitala, and Jagnyeswari. These deities are responsible for watching and guarding the firstfold having the Supreme Lord at the centre of the sacred complex.
  • The fourth fold, forms the convex surface of the temple precinct (Mahakurma) and the inner compound wall.
  • The fifth fold, which is the outer layer of the fourth fold, is again the seat of another eight Shivas and eight goddesses. The Shivas are Bisweswar, Markandeswar, Mahakaleswar, Karnameswar, Mukteswar, Ugreswar, Kapilalochana and Agreswer. The goddesses are Bisweswari, Saptamatrika, Dakshinkali, Charchika, Alameswari, Barahi, Banadurgeswari and Basulikeswari. These deities are also in charge of watch and ward functions of the sacred complex.
  • In the sixth fold of the sacred space there are four ashrams. They are Angirs in the east, Pandu in the west, Markandeya in the north, and Bhrigu in the south.
  • The seventh fold which is the outermost zone consists of the sentries of the Shankha Kshetra and two pilgrim centres. That’s all or is it? Theres another legend. This place is named after demon Shankhasura who was killed by Lord Vishnu. Shankhasura was born from the sweat of demon Madhu. Vishnu killed Madhu when he was on the verge of killing Brahma. Shankhasura wanted to avenge Madhu’s death. He pleased Shiva by his penance and learned Tantra from him. While he was learning Tantra he could hear the recitation of veda. Rishi Yagnavalkya was learning Yajur veda from Brahma at the moment. Shankhasura wanted to learn the recitation and he asked Shiva for the source. Shiva instructed him to go to Brahma to learn the Vedamantra. But Brahma had already distributed the four Vedas among his disciples, so Brahma refused to teach him Vedamantra. Shankhasura was enraged and he took away the four Vedas from the disciples forcibly and hid them in the sea. Lord Vishnu took on the incarnation of “Meen” to search for the demon. The demon hid in the Kalpa Vriksha inside the present temple. Lord Vishnu tried to kill the demon. The demon hid in a conch. Vishnu used teh Sudarshan chakra but the hard conch diverted the chakra.
  • Finally Vishnu killed the demon with his Brahmastra. Shiva was furious at the death of his disciple. The assembled gods pleased Shiva by singing “Vedasara Staba” (glories of Shiva). He requested Vishnu to name the place as Shankha kshetra after the name of Shankhasura. The proposal was accepted and the place was named as “Shankha kshetra”.
Places of Interest around Shankha Khyetram
Places of Interest around Shankha Khyetram

Toshali Sands has exclusive arrangement to take you to places of your interest in the “SHANKHA KHYETRAM” and “RATH YATRA” – THE CAR FESTIVAL. To Know more, contact Toshali Sands, Puri travel desk or leave your comment, we wil get back to you.

I would be glad to hear more about Shankha Khetram, please post if you feel any informations in the blog is missing. And would be gald to have you as their guest at Toshali Sands.

If you enjoyed this post, I would appreciate, if you share it on Twitter, Facebook, Orkut and other Social Networking sites.

World Environment Day “Clean and Green, Protect and Save the Planet”

“Save Earth”. We have nowhere else to go. Its not my slogan and I dont know whose it is. The stark word of Carl Sagan – an astronomer drills in the need for a clean environment – a clean earth.  One excerpt from his – “Pale Blue Dot”. Dont read it, just feel it.

“Look at that dot. That’s home. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. Every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer, every king and peasant, every mother and father, every “supreme leader” in the history of our species lived there – on a spec of dust suspended in sunbeam…….. Our planet is a lonely speck in all this vastness, no help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves……… this is our last stand.”

Frightening? Perhaps. Truth? Absolutely. In Toshali Resorts, long before eco tourism became fashionable and government started to support initiatives we have been travelling the green path. The idea was to be in harmony with the surroundings. Toshali Sands had a great advantage. It was next door to a pristine beach, with 30 acres to spare. The area has been forested since 1989. Some 40 thousand trees and shrubs have been planted. Coconut, betel nut, bottle palm, ashoka, mango, casurina- mostly local fauna. They survive better and gel seamlessly. The idea was to compliment the Balukhanda reserve. The ‘view’ is definitely greener now. Solar energy use is in. It will continue to be a priority and the windy beaches may see a few windmills too- nothing definitive yet, just a thought. From the sea to the hills – Toshali Royal View Resort in Shilon Bagh, Shimla, is nestled on the pine slopes of the Kinnor Hills overlooking the snow clad peaks of the Himalayas. It is just half an hour from Shimla down the Kufri-Chail road. The building has a quaint old world feel. Frankly a gaudy building block on a dense pine slope would be an eye sore so the architects got us a design that blends with the surroundings. Planting trees is a not a special ‘drive’ here it is part of the ‘job’ – the overall attempt to blend in – environmentally, culturally and visually. Deodar, Himalayan fir and spruce are some of the species we have planted.

Toshali Jungle Lodge, Simlipal, is a unique resort. It is situated in one of the original 14 biosphere reserves of India and near a tiger reserve. It offers the visitors a unique ‘wild’ environment. A resort in a biosphere has to adhere to the strict guidelines – no littering, no trash, no activity disturbing the wildlife – just blending in – unobtrusively. We are bystanders watching life in the forest go by. We are lucky to have the privilege of watching ‘nature at work’. Without trying to sound too pompous Toshali is the only quality accomodation in the ‘neighbourhood’. And the quality does not come at the cost to the nature. The idea is – to leave things as you found them when you came.

Eco tourism is not fashionable, it’s a necessity. In Africa the Masais were educated on the need to preserve the big cats – tourism and conservation efforts succeeded. Eco friendly tourism is here to stay. Local inclusiveness is a must and today we would like to renew our pledges of being one with the nature on the World Environment Day, 5th June

 

We appeal : Plant one sapling a day, lets every day be the World Environment Day to “Save Our Planet”

If you like the Blog and want to save the environment, do email and  share with your friends at Facebook, Twitter, Orkut and other Social Networking  Site. We will be glad to recieve your comments and conversations.

Corporate Golfing: The New Mantra of Business Vacation

The Toshali Sands Resort is located on Konark Marine Drive. The Puri railway station is just 7 km away form the hotel. Toshali Sands Resort the first 4 star category resort in Orissa approved by Dept. of Tourism sprawled across acres of lush green lawns and gardens and has views overlooking the Balukhanda Reserve Forest on the Konark Marine Drive in Puri. The resort offers some 100 plus AC rooms divided into Deluxe rooms, Cottages and Villas. All the rooms are well furnished with satellite television, telephone, internet accessibility etc.

The hotel offers three conference halls and an on request pick up or drop from the airport in Bhubneshwar (some 68 kms away). The resort abounds in greenery and last time around saw a flock of 20 ducks on the campus – they are still there. More than 30 acres of lush green is soothing to say the least. A 9 hole golf course is around 60 kms away and transport is easily arranged. Toshali Sands is a popular destination for corporates who plan conferences, seminars and events near Puri. Toshali was the name of the village where emperor Ashoka found peace – the resort derives its name from that village – and if tranquility is one criterion high on the list of corporate clients – they won’t be missing it. The Conference Coordinator at Toshali Sands takes care of all aspects of the event and customisations are in accordance with the wishes of the client.

Facilities for hosting corporate events are – adequate and robust rather than being exceptional. The cuisine is predominantly Indian and do not expect very exotic dishes on the menu. Late private dinners are not a problem and can be arranged on a short notice. There is more than enough scope for group activities and the scenes at the almost adjacent Balighai beach is soothing with sunrise and sunset offering stunning sceneries at the nearby confluence of river Nuanai and the sea. Pick up and drop are arranged on request – on a world war II Willys jeep. Though the reception asks for an hour’s notice for to and fro beach transportation it always took about 10 mins to arrive. It is a nice place for pleasure cum business trips – probably arranging a conference in a holy city makes the idea a bit of a novelty.

Our aim is to make organising corporate golf as easy as possible for our clients, whilst providing excellent service and competitive price. To cater the need of business meetings, international conventions, conferences, exhibitions and events you will find Toshali chains of exclusive business hotels and resorts that provide conference halls, board meeting rooms, and modern business centers. Organizations like MMTC, Maruti Udyog Limited, PSU’s other blue chip companies are the few big name, who come back regularly to avail the Convention and conference facility at Toshali Resorts.

For more detail Toshali Sands – http://bit.ly/c1shIY and Toshali Royal View Resort – http://bit.ly/dlcRfb .

I would love to hear, your forthcoming Corporate event, Toshali would be gald to have you as their guest. If you enjoyed this post, I would appreciate, if you share it on Twitter, Facebook, Orkut and other social networking.

Serenity on Puri Sea beach, Movie makers preferred location…

Virgin Sea Beach, Wild Sea and Sun along the soothingly beautiful Konark Marine Drive. Bollywood, Oriya and Bengali film and TV serial makers are increasingly thronging the place. Filmmakers should appoint a local coordinator to handle arrangements, including scouting for locales, equipments and local talents. Smaller productions can do with a local fixer. On request the resort itself coordinates and facilitates film maker guests. It is about 65 KM from Bhubaneshwar city and it takes about an hour and a half by car to reach the resort from Bhubaneshwar airport. FireShot capture #015

You can call up the coordinator at the resort near by and arrange for a car pick up from the airport The scenery along the stretch of Konark Marine drive is stunning – its raw, wild and appealing to the discerning traveller. The casurina fringed Nuanai river meeting the sea nearby makes it an idyllic location for film and serial makers searching for pristine locales. Sunrise ansd sunset are lavish affairs with molten gold all around!

The adjacent Balukhanda sanctuary is also home to the shy and elusive Baliharina deer (Indian Blackbuck). It is rarely seen these days – you might get lucky. The Olive Ridley turtle – besides having a glimpse in the nearby research centre you may be lucky on a night during the nesting season when thousands of these turtles come ashore to lay eggs. The Bhitarkanika sanctuary is the largest nesting place of this turtle – over 6 lakhs throng here annually.

To site an example, one of Bollywood block buster “ASHOKA” was filmed on the Puri Beach in the near vicinity of Toshali Sands.

The best time to visit Balighai beach is during October to June. Orissa with its almost 500 km long shoreline is often overlooked as a film tourism destination, but other than parts of the Konkan coast Orissa has the largest number of pristine and virgin beaches in India. You won’t be chased by a hawker, won’t find a supermarket there – just the sea and sun and sand – whistling wind. A quaint old jeep used to drop and pick up guests of Toshali Sands to and from the Balighai beach. Now,  it has been replaced by fuel efficient The resort also provides a life guard and umbrellas, mats and towels on the beach. The beach is a bit rough during high tide but amazing during low tide – so find out the time from the resort to make your own movie. Its also the photographer paradise…

I would love to hear, your script getting filmed at Puri Sea Beach. Which are the movies, TV Serials, Documentary films were made here at Puri Sea beach

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Securing The Chariot Festival: Puri is Safe

“Rath Yatra” – The holy Car Festival of Puri in its present form dates back at least a thousand years. Everything is on a grand scale. Full of spectacle, drama and colour, its a typical Indian fair. It’s also the embodiment of the synthesis of the tribal with the classical. One glimpse of the Lord is said to release one from the cycle of birth and death. The etymology of juggernaut originates from the chariots — in a way its true – an unstoppable force – of belief, piety, fervour that rolls on – transcending time and distance. Puri “Rath Yatra” has been celebrated in the city since times memorial. It is observed on the 2nd day of the full-moon fortnight in the month of June – July. This year the Car festival will be observed from 12th of July 2010 to till 23rd July 2010. The main car festival is on 13th July’ 2010 on Tuesday.

Off late Orissa has been subject to a lot of naxal violence – sparking off fears that the famous Rath Yatra – The Chariot Festival of Lord Jagannath could fall prey to it. Threat perception has always been high for the temple. It has been recommended level one security arrangements since 2004. Since then two Special Armed Police platoons are deployed at each of the four temple gates round the clock, complete with metal detectors and manual frisking. A “quick reaction team” is ready 24X7 to meet emergencies.

 The Lord Jagannath temple administration has security of its own and some 77 of them are deployed inside the temple premises to look after temple security, safety of visitors and maintenance of order. The Puri district administration has already undertaken survey of buildings around the Jagannath temple and henceforth – till the day after the return from Gundicha temple they will be under constant vigil. Resorts, Hotels, lodges and dharamsalas in the temple town are periodically checked by the district police for suspected maoists. Such a recent raid landed a couple of underground naxals in the security net although the Government has neither confirmed nor denied reports.

The state government, has sealed its borders with Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to avoid entry of ultras from the neighbouring states and currently some 5000 paramilitary forces are about to engage Maoists. “Rath Yatra” is THE most important festival of Orissa and the Orissa government is aware about the threat and is planning for any eventualities.

More than 6000 police and rapid action forces will be on duty during the Rath Yatra in July 13th 2010. The Coast guard has been specially directed to guard against any attack from the sea route. Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has recently reviewed security arrangements personally. He has directed the Naxal-infested districts to keep a closer vigilance. In a two pronged strategy the government is beefing up security in no-Maoist zones.

A high-level review meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary to assess the security cordon around the Shree Jagannath temple in Puri. It was decided that all the existing Close Circuit Televisions (CCTVs) installed in the premises of the temple would be upgraded. Additional places for installing CCTVs inside and outside the Shree Jagannath temple were identified. It was also decided that all hotels in Puri would come under a security cover and the Puri sea beach would be a strictly ‘zero tolerance’ zone for anything remotely suspicious. 

It will be safe for pilgrims, devotees, tourist, travelers, photographers, journalist and common man coming to witness and participate in the holy carnival “Rath Yatra” – The Car Festival.

Puri Sea Beach : Keep it Clean

Everyone can make a difference to the amount of litter in the environment

When you think of Goa, what can you think of? Endless beaches, tourists basking under the sun, children playing in the sand, spicy seafood, amazing water games… what probably don’t come to our minds are the mounds of mounds of plastic waste and rotting garbage?

Trash on beaches

The human-created, foreign matter like plastics, metal, glass, Styrofoam, etc. are what actually is called trash. Since animals often mistake these trash items as food, please remember to pick up even small pieces of trash, which should ideally go into our Trash bags and then, into the recycle bags.

Glass, aluminum cans, tin cans, plastic drinking bottles can be recycled. These items must be clean and dry.

There are other trash items that we might discover while enjoying ourselves on the beaches. These could include syringes, needles, any sharp objects, condoms, tampons, waste materials, weapons, heavy items, or anything of which we are not sure. These items are not to be touched. The best we can do is mark such areas with sticks and stones so that others could also stay away and finally inform the beach captains or lifeguards. When in doubt, don’t touch.

Trash to be left alone

Natural items (such as algae, kelp, driftwood, shells, etc.) are part of the ecosystem system that we are working to restore and should be, at the best, left alone. So lets avoid disturbing plants, animals and fragile dune areas.

Beach clean up

A day at the beach is a fun summer activity, but no one wants to share the sun with discarded cans, bottles and other trash left behind by thoughtless beach visitors. Let us all  help protect the environment and keep the beach a fun place to be when we organize a beach clean up day.

Let us support a healthy environment. Gather a group of friends together for a beach clean up day at your local beach. Help the environment even more by carpooling to the beach together in one or two vehicles rather than having everyone drive separately.

Brush the beach by collecting trash. Consider putting all the cans and bottles you come across in separate bags for recycling. If you find hazardous items such as needles, be sure not to pick them up with your bare hands. Bury any large deposits of seaweed.

Toshali Sands along with Orissa Tourism and Forest Department has set an example at Balighai Beach. Toshali is striving with a mission to Keep Puri beach clean for the incoming guest, devotees, pilgrims, journalists, travelers, and locals.

Clean and Well maintained Balighai Beach at Puri is an effort by Toshali Sands along with Orissa Tourism and Forest Department
Clean and Well maintained Balighai Beach at Puri is an effort by Toshali Sands along with Orissa Tourism and Forest Department

Therefore, Toshali appeals all to join hand in spreading message of Self-Help to everyone to be the part of the movement to keep Puri beach clean. Are your there !!! this is not merely a blog, we invite you to start conversation and draw attention of all the people concern to drive the cause.

Visit our Facebook Cause Page http://bit.ly/at0MJ7 And “Puri Beach : Keep Me Clean” Group for the cause at http://bit.ly/9911Mw