Puri: Lord Balabhadra’s Idol Falls On Servitors During Rath Yatra, 9 Injured

At least nine Jagannath temple servitors were injured on Tuesday when Lord Balabhadra's idol fell on them during the Rath Yatra celebrations in Puri.
Picture courtesy - PTI
Picture courtesy - PTI

PURI: At least nine servitors sustained injuries when Lord Balabhadra’s idol accidentally fell on them during the Rath Yatra celebration in Puri on Tuesday, July 9, 2024.

The incident occurred when the three idols were being transported from the chariot to the Adapa Mandap of the Gundicha temple.

Out of the nine injured, five of them were hospitalized, while the remaining four sustained minor injuries, said Siddharth Shankar Swain, the Puri Collector.

The accident happened during the ‘Pahandi’ ritual, which involves lowering the massive wooden idol from Lord Balabhadra's chariot to be transported to the Gundicha temple. According to reports, the people in charge of transporting the idol lost control during the process.

Odisha Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi expressed his concern about the occurrence and directed the law minister, Prithiviraj Harichandan, to visit the scene immediately and take appropriate action.

The state government's law department has jurisdiction over the Puri Jagannath shrine. The chief minister also wished the injured employees a speedy recovery.

Following the mishap, the ceremony of the sibling deities—Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra, and Lord Balabhadra—were resumed, and all of the idols were safely transferred inside the Gundicha temple.

The deities will stay in the Gundicha Temple until the 'Bahuda Jatra' or return car festival, which is scheduled for July 15.

Thousands of people dragged the chariots, while lakhs of devotees gathered on the roadside to observe the 'Badadanda' procession amidst the scorching heat and humidity.

The 'yatra' commenced on Sunday evening but came to a standstill a few meters later due to the sunset. It began its 2.5-kilometer long trek from the 12th-century shrine to the Gundicha temple at 9.30 a.m. on Monday and ended at 2.35 p.m.

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