Bahuda Yatra is the return journey of the three chariots to Puri Jagannath Temple. In 2018, Bahuda Yatra date falls on 22nd July (Sunday).
After spending a week inside the Gundicha temple, the deities commence their Bahuda Yatra on the 10th day. The return journey follows the same protocol and schedule, as is found during the Ratha Yatra. During the return journey, the three chariots stop for a while at the Mausima Temple. This temple is dedicated to the aunt of Lord Jagannath. Here three deities are offered ‘Poda Pitha’, a special sweet made of rice, coconut, lentils and jaggery. After taking Poda Pitha, three deities start their journey to the main temple.
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The chariots of Balabhadra and Subhadra move forward and are parked at Lion’s gate (Singha dwara) of the temple where as the chariot of Jagannath again halts in front of the King’s palace. In the mean while Goddess Lakshmi steals a glimpse of the safe return of Jagannath’s chariot from the Chaha ni Mandapa. Being pleased Goddess Lakshmi is carried to the chariot of Jagannath while sitting in the Palanquin. She is offered a loving garland which Lord Jagannath uses as loving souvenir from her partner. After receiving the garland Goddess Lakshmi goes back to the Temple and awaits her partner.
On the 11th day (Ekadasi), the deities are offered a refreshing drink named as ‘Adhara Pana’. In local language ‘Adhara’ means ‘Lip’ and ‘Pana’ is a sweet scented drink made of milk, sugar, cheese, banana, camphor, nutmeg, black pepper etc.
On the same day, during evening the three deities are dressed in glittering gold on their respective chariots. This day is also known as ‘Suna Vesha’. Devotees witnessed the Suna Besha from evening 5 pm till 11 pm.
On the 12th day, after the evening rituals, the deities return to the temple with the victory trumpet leading the procession. Balabhadra and Subhadra are taken to the sanctum sanctorum (Ratna Singhasana) in goti pahandi whereas the entry of Jagannath is met with many a pleasant hurdle. Devadasis at the behest of Lakshmi close the main entrance for a spell and they close the Jaya-Vijaya door and engage themselves in a pleasant repartee with the daitas. This event is just to show Lakshmi’s uneasy concern for Lord’s absence in the Temple.
After that, Jagannath is made to sit beside Lakshmi where a ritual of reunion is rehearsed and finally Lord Jagannath ascends the Ratna Singhasana and rejoins His brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra. Deities return to the sanctum is known as ‘NILADRI VIJAY’ or ‘Niladri Vije’.