Debasnana is the sacred bathing ceremony of Lord Jagannath, brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra.  It is an elaborate ritual that revolves around the holy trinity of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra and includes bathing the idols and prepping them up for the chariot festival. The Snana Mandap located on the frontier of the eastern side of the Jagannath temple in Puri, the Snana Mandap (the bathing pandal) measures 75 feet in length and is at such a height that devotees standing right outside the temple can get a clear view of the deities. 108 pots of water are drawn from the Suna Kua (well) of the temple of goddess Sitala, the previous night to bathe the deities. This well serves the sole purpose of containing water that is drawn only once a year for the Debasnana Purnima. The 108 pots of water are made intensely fragrant with the addition of sandalwood paste, camphor, saffron and areca nut (gua).  The holy trinity of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra are actually tied to their places in the Snana Mandap to fix the idols to a stable spot. After the Dhaadi Pahandi (seating the idols one after the other in a procession) of the deities, “perspiration” is wiped off the idols faces with camphor water.  After the scented water is poured on the deities, Chhera Panhara ritual of the Snana Mandap by the Gajapati King of Puri commences. Thereafter, the servitors perform the Hati Besa where Lords Jagannath and Balabhadra are adorned in elephant attires and Devi Subhadra with lotus flowers. The devotees then can have the open darshan of the deities aka Sahana Mela. Snana Purnima is the only time of the year when people, irrespective of their religion can get a glimpse of the holy trinity.


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