Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The lotus feet of Lord Sri Jagannath

Hi Readers,

I would like to say this as a continuation of my previous posts related to my beloved lord Sri Jagannath. The first one being " An insight to Rath Yatra " and then " A visit to Puri last Year". This time I visited Puri during the Rath Yatra festival. For me this was the first time, when I visited Puri during this nine day long festival. It was an incredible experience all together. I will try my best to jot down the same below.

We went to Puri on the seventh day of commencement of Rath Yatra. Our journey started with Katak Chandi temple, followed by Kali temple. We halted in Bal temple,Pahala on the way to Bhubaneswar. It was already 2PM as we started late from Katak.We had the prasad there as lunch. I ate so much that did not even feel slightest hunger till mid night. On the way to Puri, I slept almost the entire journey. Finally, we reached Puri around 6 in the evening.

We(me, my husband and MIL(mom in law)), went to Gundicha temple. There was a long queue.By the time we entered the main temple premises, it was completely dark and the time must be around 7Pm. There were around 4 to 5 entrances to reach the feet of lord. And on each entrance, there was a greedy Bhramin guarding the gate. You just need to pay them few bucks ranging from Rs30 to Rs 100, depending on your bargaining skill. Finally, I managed to enter the main temple after paying the Pandas(Bharmins). The floor was wet, and people had started to lit the Diya's inside the main temple. I feared, my Saree catching fire. It was first time though, I wore a silk Saree, with the palu on my head. I was sweating badly due to the crowd and chaos inside the temple.

Suddenly, I remembered the Deogarh temple(Bihar) and my visit on Sarban somvar. I could never forget the crowd, stampede like condition there. I also remembered the Kamakshya temple(Gwahati),the dark interior of the temple. It was very similar here. Wet floors, crowd as though waiting for stampede. My MIL and my husband helped me a lot in covering the crowd and finally reaching the Lotus feet. It was first time, that I saw the Lords idol so closely, touched his feet and took his blessings. Oh! Lord one of my wishes was fulfilled to touch your idol on my own hand.

Then started another scene, when the crowd pushed my MIL to the exit of the temple. We were lost. My husband and I waited outside the temple for few mints before the power went off. It was too dark to see the person's face standing next to us. When the power came back, we searched for her and then returned back to our vehicle. My MIL announced our name in the near by help center. This incident reminded me of My Dad announcing my name in School fete in Std 6th.
Lastly, she called up our relative as we both left our mobile in car. Somehow, we contacted her and she returned back to the place where we were waiting. Then started another problem, that's finding our footwear. Readers, my advise never take your footwear's to any stand ,instead keep it in your vehicle if situation permits. Another one hour and the hunt for shoes didn't end. After 9 PM we left Gundicha temple and went to the sea beach(Mahodadhi). Sprinkled a few drops of the salty water on us and left Puri.

The best and interesting activity of that day was attending a wedding after mid-night that too bare footed. We had no shoes and there was no shop open at the time we reached Bhubaneswar. Searched the place for about an hour where the wedding was going to happen. I had almost lost all my patience as I got up too early that morning and it was almost crossing mid night. God knows how I kept smiling even though I was too tired and was unable to open my eyelids. I somehow managed to wish the couple.

 Finally, we reached home at night 2PM. You won't believe how much happy I was to see my home that day. However, I had least energy to climb that 5th floor. Don't know how I went up, reached my bed and slept.

Altogether, this was one of the interesting and unforgettable experience of my life.


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