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Gajanana Besha Or Hati Besha Annual Cycle Of Festivals Of Shree Jagannath Temple

Gajanana Besha

Gajanana Besha Or Hati Besha annual cycle of festivals of Shree Jagannath Temple begins with the Snana Yatra (the bathing ceremony) which takes place on the full-moon day of Jyeshtha (May-June). Gajanana or Hati Besha is done on the occasion of Snana Yatrs.

Gajanana Besha

On the Snana Purnima day, the deities are taken out to the Snana Vedi (the bathing platform). After the ceremonial bath, the deities are dressed like Gajanana which is locally known as Hati Besha.
Since it is a general practice among the Hindus that Lord Ganesh is worshipped at the beginning of every religious rite, Lord Shri Jagannatha is decorated as Ganesh during His first annual Yatra. It is also stated that He is dressed as Ganesh to satisfy the followers of the Ganapatya sect.
According to Dardhyata Bhakti, one Ganapati Bhatta, a devotee of Ganesh, who had come from Karnataka, was disappointed not to see the Ganapati image on the bathing platform.
To satisfy the religious sentiment of this devotee, to the surprise of all the assembled, the Lord appeared with the mask of pachyderm. Since that day, the Gajanana or Hati Besha of the deities is being donned on the day of Jyeshtha Purnima.
This Besha is chiefly conducted by the Palia Puspalak, Khuntia, Mekap & Daitapatis on this day. Lord Shree Jagannath and Balabhadra assume Gajanana Besha.
The Raghav Das Matha and Gopaltirtha Matha respectively supply the above Besha materials as per prolonged tradition. Pilgrims and general public are allowed to go upto the limits of Snana Mandap to have a Darshan of attractive Gajanana Besha of the deities without paying any fee during ‘Sahana Mela’ period.

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