Puri: June 13: Snana Yatra or Devasnana Purnima is held on the full-moon day of the month of Jyestha. This is one of the most auspicious days for Hindus. One can say, the process of the world-renowned Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Puri begins from this day.
Snana Yatra is the Divine Bathing festival of the deities-Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra, Lord Balabhadra, Sudarshana, and Madanamohana.
On the day of Snana Yatra, the images of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Goddess Subhadra, and Sudarshana are ceremonially brought out from the Garbhagriha in a procession (Pahandi) to the Snana Mandapa (Bathing pandal).
Servitors go in a ceremonial procession to fetch 108 pots of water from the Golden well (Suna Kua’). Further they kept all the pots of water collected from the Suna Kua in the Bhoga Mandapa.
The Priests further purify the water with Haladi (turmeric), Java (whole rice), Sandal (Chandan), flowers and perfumes. The purified water pots are then carried from Bhoga Mandap to the bathing platform by the Servitors. Further Jalabhisheka is being done on the Snana Bedi.
At evening, after the bath ritual, the Deities assume the special elephant form which is otherwise known as ‘Gaja Bhesha’. Lord Jagannatha and Lord Balaram dressed like elephant, and Goddess Subhadra wears a lotus flower vesha.
After the Snana Yatra, the Gods are traditionally believed to fall ill and are kept in a sick room called ‘Ratan Bedi’ inside the temple. As believed Raja Vaidya takes care of the treatment of the deities during the period of 15 days and deities stay away from the public view. This priod is called ‘Anasara’. During the Anasara period devotees visit the Alarnatha Mandira in Bramhagiri in the belief that Jagannath manifests as Alarnatha during this period