Blindfolded and segregated from the rest of the world, four senior servitors at midnight carried out Ghata Paribartana (transfer of souls to new idols), the most sacred and secret ritual of Jagannath temple.
The Puri Gajapati Maharaja Divasingh Dev who had entered into the temple at 2.15 PM, returned at 2.45 AM after performing purnahuti at the yagna at Koili Baikuntha.
After the departure of the Gajapati Maharaja, all lights in and around the temple were switched off at 3.15 AM while the gupta niti of the Lords began after the entire temple premises were consecrated at 4.15 AM.
Daitapatis conducted ‘Mahasnan’ of the new idols and dressed those in Khandua (a special silk cloth) in darkness. The new idols were then shifted to seats in Koilibaikuntha enclosure facing the old deities.
The four blind-folded Badagrahis, with hands wrapped in silk cloths, opened the navel cavity of the old idols simultaneously, brought out the ‘Brahmas’ and placed those on four Khatulis (small thrones). The ‘Brahmas’ were given holy basil water bath and Patimahapatra, a Daita servitor, offered Bhog to the ‘Brahmas’.
Thereafter, almost all the members of Daita clan visited the temple for ‘Brahma Darshan’ and presented ‘Darshan Pranami Dakshina’.
The Badagrahis then put the ‘Brahmas’ of the respective deities in their navel cavity and closed the doors of the cavities. The navel area was wrapped in several layers of silk cloth. The new idols were then escorted to Anasar Ghar (sick room of the deities). The new idols would remain in the sick room for a month from Tuesday.
Devotees can have the first glimpse of the new images on Rath Yatra, which is on July 18.
Sticking to age-old tradition, they buried the old idols of Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan ai Koili Baikuntha, the garden of the temple.
The Jagannath temple in Puri would remain closed till 5 pm on Tuesday in view of some secret rituals post Nabakalebara (soul transfer of gods).
The last time Odisha’s most-revered temple conducted Nabakalebara was in 1996.