Nabakalebara literally means “New Body” is an ancient ritual associated with most of the Lord Jagannath Temples when the Idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan are replaced by a new set of Idols. This usually occurs every 12 – 19 years when a year which has two months (Adhika masa) of Ashadha as per the Hindu Calendar and that year is auspicious for conducting the ceremony. The Deities are made from a special type of Neem wood known as Daru Bramha. Preparations for the ceremony start in the month of Chaitra.
Last ceremony was done in the year 1996 where as the next ceremony will be held on 2015. It is to be noted that the deities made of stone or metal need not be changed unless damaged, but the wooden deities are to be changed within specific gap of years and the supreme power must be installed from the old one to the new one, by secret rituals.
The neem tree is not an ordinary Neem tree which will be used to make the deities . Certain well defined criterias must be satisfied by the tree before it is labelled a Daru Bramha fit for deities making.Locating the four holy trees requires divine intervention. As per long standing tradition the Priests of the Lord Jagannath Temple (Puri) worship Maa Mangala at the Kakatpur Mangala Temple. It is said the Goddess appears to them in their dreams revealing the location of the holy trees .
Preparation had already begun :
- Odisha government will spend Rs 1000 crore on infrastructure development . The money will be spent on the expansion of roads, drinking water, health, sanitation and others amenities for the devotees /visitors.
- Special emphasis will be given on devotees’ accommodation and comfortable stay during the festival.
- Sources said the government is giving special emphasis on the improvement of train connectivity and condition of railway stations in and around Puri for the festival in the wake of the stampede at Allahabad station involving Kumbh Mela devotees recently.
- While about 5 – 7 lakhs people visit Puri during the annual Rath Yatra and around 10 lakh people had visited the beach town during the last Nabakalebar in 1996.
- The government will establish a new bus station at Malatipatpur, and will create buffer parking place along the NH , since many of the tourists will arrive by buses.
- The government is also planning to widen all roads connecting Puri before the festive .
- Because of better connectivity of Puri these days ,the government anticipates the crowd to go up by 5 times in 2015. The two-lane Bhubaneswar-Puri NH is already being developed into four lanes.
- There are plans to increase accommodation facilities for the visitors too. The government plans to build temporary shelters with drinking water and sanitation facilities for around one lakh pilgrims. Puri has around 300 small and medium-sized hotels, which can accommodate around 40,000 people. The government has decided to identity certain mutts to serve as temporary accommodation centres.
- The government would renovate Narendra, Markand and Indradumna holy ponds as well.
News Courtesy : The Times of India
New Jagannath sadak : “New jagannath sadak” is being developed into a 2 lane carriage way for Nabakalebara”.The new Jagannath sadak connects puri with cities like Brahmapur ,Nayagarh , southern and western areas of Odisha.
(Details of New jagannath sadak by Siddharth Patnaik)
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