Puri : The stage is set for Bahuda yatra (return car festival) of Lord Jagannath and his siblings scheduled to begin on July 20 next.
As per tradition three chariots were pulled one by one with South turn from the entry gate parking and stationed at the exit gate of Gundicha temple known as Nakachanadwar facing towards the main temple on Saturday.
While the chariot of Subhadra was pulled first followed by the chariot of Balabhadra, the chariot of Lord Jagannath was pulled at the last. This exercise is called “Dakshini Moda”.
On Friday the engineers and carpenters had inspected the three chariots and carried out some minor repairs of the wheels of chariots.
After the observance of the daily needs of deities in the Adap mandap, three Pujapandas came with the “agyamallyas” in a procession on Saturday and handed over the order of the deities to park the chariots in front of the Nakachanadwar for the return journey.
About five hundred police personnel were engaged in making all the three chariots on the Dakshini moda exercise.
Meanwhile, the administration has geared up activities to conduct devotees “Bahuda Yatra” as was done during the Rath yatra on July 12 last.
This apart from the preparation by the temple administration was on to observe Sunabesh, the golden attire of the trinity and Adharpana rituals of deities after their arrival at the Simhadwar of the main temple.
Official sources said a total of five thousand Covid-19 tests were conducted including three thousand five hundred servitors and police personnel. As per the Supreme court directive, only servitors tested Covid-19 negative could pull the chariots while the police personnel tested covid negative should be engaged in festival duty.
The entire city and Badadanda would be placed under curfew for 48 hours for the Return Car festival. The district administration has asked all the hotels and lodging houses located on either side of the Grand road to vacate the rooms occupied by the visitors.
Temple sources said after arriving at Simhadwar on July 20, the Sunavesha of deities on the Rathas would be held on July 21 followed by Adharpana offering on July 22 and finally, the presiding deities would return to their original abode in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple on July 23 known as Niladri Bije (homecoming of deities).