This year general devotees will not be allowed to have ‘Nabajauban Darshan’ on July 17, a day before the world-famous Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath. In a significant decision that is bound to irk devotees, the managing committee of the Shree Jagannath temple decided that public will not get a darshan of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra in their new bodies on Nabajauban day, an event they have been waiting anxiously for.
“Nabajauban darshan of the Lords will be held this year. It will be held on the day before the Ratha Yatra as usual but no one from the public will be allowed for the darshan this year,” temple’s chief administrator Suresh Chandra Mohapatra told the media after the temple managing committee meeting in Puri on Wednesday. “In 1977, entry of lakhs of devotees led to chaos. It was not possible for the authorities to control them. During 1996 Nabakalebara, public darshan was stopped. We will do the same this year,” he added.
In a departure from the practice followed during previous years, devotees can have the first darshan of the Lords only after the completion of the Nabakalebara niti (ritual) on the chariots. The managing committee approved an annual budget of nearly Rs 239 crore and schedule for Nabakalebara starting from Banajaga Yatra beginning March 29 to the Rath Yatra on July 18.