Deities on the chariots: “Suna Besha” (Decoration With Gold)
Monday, Jul 27, 2015
As tradition, “Chaturdhamurti” (Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Sri Sudarshan) are given decoration with gold ornaments on the 11th day of Bright Fortnight of the month of Ashadh.
It is said that Gajapati Maharaja (King) of Puri, being the first and foremost servitor of the deities, decorates the idols as symbol of wealth. Likewise, king Indradyumna also thought himself a servitor. Gajapati Purusottama Deva, following is victory over many warfare, offered the ornaments he accumulated for the service of the deities. Even, Kapilendra Deva, founder of Surya Royal Dynasty, had declared Lord Jagannatha the Lord of the Nation. This “Besha” (decoration) is called “Suna Besha” (Decoration with Gold) which is attached to the deities in the form of an important ritual.
There is a convention that deities are decorated with gold ornaments five times a year, four times on “Ratna Sinhasan” (Bejeweled Throne) and once on the Chariots, after “Bahuda Yatra” (Return Chariot Festival), in front of the temple.
Materials for the decoration are brought from the “Bhandara” (store room) of the temple. The servitors named “Palia Mekap”, “Khuntia Sevak”, Magistrate, Police Officers and the temple police monitor and supervise the entire process. Servitors such as “Palia”, “Puspalaka”, “Bhitarachha”, “Taluchha”, “Badagrahi Daitapati” and “Khuntia Mekap” are engaged in the decoration work of the deities. Related materials such as silk, cotton cloth are taken from “Changada Ghara” by “Changada Mekap” (a category of servitors).
It is customary that the deities are offered and decorated with 138 types of ornaments. All these ornaments are used for various parts of the body of the deities.
The ornaments have got very colloquial names as these are meant for different body organs. The names are familiar such as Sri Payara, Sri Bhuja, Kireeta, Odianee, Kundala, Chandrasurya, Adakani, Ghagada, Mali, Kadambamali, Tilaka, Chandrika, Alaka, Hala and Mushala, Sebati, Bahadamali, Baghanakhimali, Tadagi, Swarnachakra, Tikhandika and Kamarpati etc.
The ornaments are ample indication of Odisha’s cultural heritage and glorious artistic tradition. “Suna Besha” (Decoration with Gold) is one of the illustrious occasions for the devotees to have a glimpse of the deities on the Chariot.
Source :I & PR Department