Installation of Lord Jagannath at the Gita Bhawan temple was observed with pomp and glory, Rahul Laud reports
Indians in Manchester which is the second largest city in the United Kingdom (UK), installed the idol of Lord Jagannath at the Gita Bhawan temple amidst huge excitement pomp and splendour on 21 August, 2021. Nearly Five hundred Oriya (Origin residents from Orissa state in India) and Non-Oriya devotees along with their families congregated to witness the much sought after spectacular ceremony under the guidance of Priests Acharya Medinipati Mishra from Glasgow Hindu Temple and Acharya Shyam Sunder Sharma from of Gita Bhawan.
For those uninitiated Jagannath Temple is a very popular temple at Puri in the state of Orissa in India and one of the most popular holy shrines visited by the Hindus during their pilgrimage of ‘’char dham.’’ The Char Dham (meaning: four abodes) is a set of four pilgrimage sites in India. It is believed that visiting these sites helps achieve moksha (salvation). The four temples that comprise Char Dham are Yamunotri Dham, Gangotri Dham, Badrinath Dham and Kedarnath Dham.
Rath Yatra (Chariot ride) is also organized in Puri every year in which the deities of the temple are put into separate temple cars. The statues of most deities in different temples are either metallic or made by stone but the statue of Jagannath is made of wood.
At the installation ceremony the Indian Hindu religious rituals of Pujarchana, Kalas Yatra, Dev Pujana, Abhishek, Murti Sthapana and Prana Pratishtha commenced in the morning with pious and spiritual fervour. The detailed proceedings of worshipping were performed in a solemn manner as per Hindu scripture in front of the four deities idols of Lord of the Universe Shree Jagannath, His Elder Brother Lord Balabhadra, His Sister Goddess Devi Subhadra and Lord Sudarshan.
To mark the auspicious occasion the entire structure of Gita Bhawan Hindu Temple where the Gods and Goddess are presently installed has been decked up with different hues of flowers and colours.
The installation ceremony also witnessed the Nama Yagna, Homo, Bhoga, Maha arati and Pushpanjali programmes. On the occasion the deities were taken in Pahandi procession to the aesthetically and colourfully decorated chariot parked inside the premises of Gita Bhawan. The Chariot was constructed and decorated under the guidance of Jeeban Panigrahi, Bishnu Dash and Prasanta Sahu. The atmosphere got reverberated with the recitals of hymns, roaring of slogans like haribol and Jai Jagannath, sounding of musical instruments like Kartala, Mardala, Jhanja and Mrudanga. The majestic and magnetic view of idols from the magnificent Chariot was unique and ethereal.
Dr. Siba Senapati undertook the traditional services of sweeping on the chariot called Chhera Pahanra. Amidst the devotional renderings of kirtan, recital of Bhajans, Jananas, the chariot was pulled till two miles distance to Alexandra Park in the city and then pulled back to the temple premises. The unique and unusual scenery of the Royal sojourn on rolling chariot passing through Withington Road, Wilbraham Road, Bantingham Road and Alexandra Road South was just marvellous and mesmerising.
Earlier the four wooden deities made out of Neem tree were carved to their present shapes in Puri (Orissa, India) and couriered to Manchester. The trustee of Hindu Cultural Society, the Founding and Managing body member of Gita Bhawan, Raj Kumar Kaushal extended fullest co–operation and support for the installation ceremony on behalf of the temple.
The Deities were offered Prasad prepared by the ISKCON team that contained the flavour of Abhadas of Anand Bazar at Puri. Dr. Siba Senapati and Smt Rekha Senapati lead organsiers of the eceremony expressed that with the installation of four deities at Manchester, the long cherished dreams of the people from Orissa in North West England have been accomplished. The organising team for the installation ceremony and Car Festival included Jeeban Panigrahi, Durgesh Nandini, Prasanta Sahu, Roseleen Biswal, Bishnu Dash, Sushri Mishra, Siba Ranjan Biswal, Pooja Khandual.
Presentations of scintillating cultural shows by celebrated artistes were also part of the celebration. These include recitals of devotional songs by Nirushree Nirlipta Mohanty and Drishika Panigrahi, Bhartanatyam dance performance by Nritya Ram Mohan and Odissi dance recital by Elena Evelyn and Gracy Aurora.
The dignitaries present during the celebration included Dr. Nishebita Das, Dr. Ramesh Routray, Dr. Rina Routray, Dr. Nirendra Jena, Smt. Bidyut Jena, Dr. Bibhuprasad Dash, Dr. Sangeeta Dash, Smt. Mamata Nayak, Dr. Jeenita Mohanty, Dr. Prakash Dey and Dr. Debakanta Behera.