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elecast, the Return Journey of Ratha Yatra 26th July 2015
bahuda-yatra

Ratha Yatra is a procession taking the deities to the Gundicha temple, Bahuda Yatra is a procession of bringing back the deities to the Lord Jagannath temple in Puri. The deities are taken out, lifted onto the chariots and the pilgrims pull them. The chariot of Lord Jagannath stops in front of the Mausima Temple. Here `the meeting of Lakshmi and Narayana` takes place. Lakshmi`s statue is carried from the storeroom by Brahmin servants to a pavilion on the eastern side, called `the gazing pavilion`. From that pavilion she gazes at the chariot of Lord Jagannath. Goddess Lakshmi is then carried from the temple to the palace in a palanquin. After Lakshmi`s palanquin has left the temple, news is sent to the king who sets out on foot along with the two raja gurus. The king meets the palanquin of Lakshmi between the palace and the temple. He keeps the goddess on his left and walks towards the chariot of Lord Jagannath.

In front of the chariot arrives a small procession. The king lifts the small statue of Lakshmi above his head and makes her face the statue of Jagannath. The circumambulation ends right by the palace gate. Here the king and his entourage faces the crowd so as the people may have a last Darshan of the king. Lakshmi`s statue is returned to the temple. Jagannath`s chariot is pulled to the main temple. The priests offer dry food items to this statue. The deities are then given `the golden dress`. Golden crowns are placed on their heads. To view the golden dressed deities is considered very auspicious for the pilgrims.

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Thereafter the gold ornaments and dresses have been removed. Lord Jagannath is brought in the inner sanctum of the temple and placed on the dais. The purificatory rites are carried out. Goddess Lakshmi`s is placed on the dais to the left of her Lord.

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