Decorated in a huge quantum of gold ornaments, apart from beautiful costumes on their bodies, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra displayed them to public sitting on their chariots during the Suna Besha ritual on Wednesday evening. However, public was prohibited to the Lions’ Gate area to view the Suna Besha due to Covid restrictions.
As a result, the devotees could watch the attire live on their television only. For security of the gold attireS, curfew was in force around the temple periphery with barricades in all passages to the Lions’ Gate area so that nobody could enter unauthorised.
Although it was not made public about the varieties of invaluable and the exact weight used in the decorations due to security reasons, however, sources informed that many as 30 designs weighing around 150 kg of ornaments were used to decorate the deities. The Suna Besha began late, almost an hour after the scheduled time of 4 pm. A limited number of servitors besides security forces and administrative officials were present near the deities. The fascinating attire of the Lords is also called Rajadhiraj or Raja Rajeswar Besha (king of kings). Among the five attires of Lords observed in a year, this is the only decoration which is observed outside the temple with rest four within the shrine premises. Among designs used in the decoration, there were hands, feet, crowns, peacocks, forehead costume, ear rings, half square-shaped decorative necklaces etc. Besides, the third-eye on palate, conch, wheel, lotus and mace in the hands were among the designs. There were also Padma, Sevati, Agasti, Kadamba, Kante and Champa made up of gold and jewels which symbolize the flowers that the deities are mostly fond of. In the past, deities used to wear 208 kg of 138 designs of ornaments. However, due to security reasons, few designs with less weight are used in the attire at present.
Earlier, the servitors carried the ornaments from Ratna Bhandar (Treasure trove) of Shreemandir to the Lions Gate, where chariots were parked. The Besha continued till 9 pm against the scheduled time of 5.30 pm. According to history, Suna Besha had begun during the period of monarch Kapilendra Dev in 1460 AD He had brought with him a huge bounty of invaluable on 16 carts to Puri while returning triumphant after winning over some southern provinces. He later donated them to the Jagannath Temple for adorning the deities during Rath Yatra.