Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Suvadra entered the Shreemandir here in the usual customary way, which is called the Niladri Bije on Monday. The ritual brought curtains down on the 12-day-long Rath Yatra festivities.
After entering the shrine in Goti Pahandi (one by one move), the deities were enthroned on the Ratnasinghasan (bejeweled throne) inside the sanctum sactorum of the Shreemandir.
On Tuesday, Nilachala Abhada would be available in the shrine where devotees can have the first rice offering to the deities after their return to the temple from the chariots.
Amid chanting of Jay Jagannath with ringing of bells and beating of drums, the Pahandi Bije (movement) of Madan Mohan ( acting idols) was conducted early at 3.40 pm.
Laxmi Narayan Bheta, which is also an import ritual of Niladribije, was accomplished before the closed Lions Gate. Protesting negligence to her by Lord Jagannath in not taking her to the Gundicha Temple during the Rath Yatra, irate Devi Mahalakshmi closed the Lions Gate for the Lords. However, Lord Jagannath had to please here begging several excuses and offering Rasagolas (sweet dessert).
The ritual was beautifully observed by the servitors near the Lions Gate by the designated servitors.
Traditionally, Niladribije was conducted at nearly 9 pm and completed by 12 pm. But, this year due to the lunar eclipse falling on Tuesday, the deities will have to complete their morning rites by early 4 am after which all rituals in the shrine will be postponed till moon gets free from the eclipse.