Ritual in Gundicha Temple on Ratha Yatra
After the Tirtha Yatra the deities stay in Gundicha temple for one week. The journey towards the Gundicha temple is not continuous. It is interrupted several times during which food is offered to the deities. This temple has no image installed in its inner sanctum. It is considered that the wife of `Indradyumna`, the king who established Lord Jagannath`s temple was known as “Gundicha”. After the deities have been placed in the inner chamber the temple and the deities are purified. Food is cooked in this temple and is offered by the Puja pandas.
There is legend regarding the Gundicha temple. Goddess Laxmi becomes angry for being not allowed to go along with Lord Jagannath. She proceeds to the Gundicha Temple to meet him on the Hera Panchami Day, the fifth day from the Ratha Yatra.
After having a silent look at him, she returns to Shri Mandir. She damages a part of Jagannath`s Chariot in anger. The deities enter the Gundicha temple in a pahandi style.
The Devadasis resume their rituals of offering the morning meal and the evening putting-to-sleep ceremony. The deities` daily morning bath is done in a more elaborate manner. The deities are smeared with sandalwood paste all over their bodies. The fifth day of the fortnight corresponds to the second day of the deities` stay in Gundicha.
There takes place an interlude which involves Goddess Lakshmi and the Devadasis. Lakshmi is taken out from the main temple in a palanquin carried by Brahmin temple servants. The procession walks to the Gundicha temple and stops in front of the chariot of Lord Jagannath. Palanquin is placed on wooden stands and a Brahmin temple servant worships Lakshmi. The Devadasis sing songs after which the palanquin is taken around the car of Jagannath. Lakshmi is also placed in the inner sanctum of the temple. The day after this witnesses the three pandas taking three `garlands of order` from the deities and placing them on the three chariots. From this moment the three chariots stand facing the south. After the stay in Gundicha temple follows the Bahuda Yatra or the return journey of the chariots.