Navakalebar


The Navakalebar ceremony of the deities takes place in the year when the month of Asadha (June-July) happens to be an intercalary month (Double Asadha or two months of Asadha), which means when one lunar month of Ashadha is followed by another lunar month of Aashadha. During the Navakalebar festival, the bodies of the deities of the Puri temple are fabricated out of the logs of wood of the Margo tree. This new body change-over ceremony called the Navakalebar takes place when the old images are replaced by new ones. Normally, this should take place once in 12 years, but actually the shortest period is 8 years and the longest is 19 years.
The various steps taken by the temple authorities to celebrate the festival in the traditional manner are very extensive. Specific persons including the Daitas are deputed from the Puri temple to the Mangala temple in Kakatapur village to implore the mercy of the said goddess, so that they would be able to spot out the suitable margo trees. There are many specifications about the environment, location, height, age and other details of the trees which should be thoroughly checked before they are procured for the purpose.

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