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After 25 long years, the Nagarjuna Besha of the Lord Jagannath and his siblings is being conducted at Srimandir in Puri.
Preparations are underway. Nagarjuna Besh Nitikanti started at around 2 pm on Thursday. After Dwarfita, the policies of Bhitrasodha, Mangalaalati, Tadpalagi, and Abakash has been completed soon.
For the first time, all rituals are being performed without devotees. On the other hand, Section 144 has been implemented around the shrine because of possible crowds.
The curfew will continue from 2 pm from Thursday to Friday. A 25-platoon force has been deployed, said sources.
According to the schedule, Mailam and Nagarjuna have been done at 4 am. The work has been continuing for 3 hours. As many as 16 types of weapons will be used by the Lord. Similarly, Rosh Hom at 4.30 am, Suryapuja at 5 am, Dwarpala Puja at 5:15 am, Gopalaballav at 4 am, morning incense (Kothabhog only) between 4:30 am and Bhogmandapa with children incense at 10.30 am.
The Bhogmandap will end at 1:30 pm and noon incense between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. (room-only), second bhog mandapa from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., southern bhoga at 5:30 p.m., Badsingh’s costume at 11:30 a.m., Badsingh’s bhoga at 12 noon and Pahuda at 12:30 p.m.
District Magistrate Balwant Singh said, “After 24 long years, the rare Nagarjuna Besha of Mahaprabhu is taking place and the site will be very beautiful. But in the wake of the Corona pandemic, the show has seemed a bit unfocused in recent episodes. However, due to the threat of crowds, Section 144 has been issued around the shrine, namely Marichikot Chowk, Jahnimundia Chowk, Kakudikhai Chowk, Dhankuti Sahi (near Raghunath Ashram), Gandua Chura Chowk, Gadanti Chowk, Dolavedi Corner.”
Moreover, only policy-related services, government officials, employees, and JTPs are allowed to enter the area. Restrictions on access to others have been imposed. Mobile phones, cameras, etc. have been banned from entering the temple. A security cordon has been set up inside the shrine for checking mobile phones, cameras, and more. Multiple officers have been credited for the investigation, he added.