The First Weekend of The Year 2018 – Shri Jagannath Darshan
For any Odia, Lord Jagannath is the first lord and is remembered before any auspicious event. Even in Odia Tradition, we send the First Birthday Card, Naming Ceremony invitations (for Kids), Marriage Invitations and so to say any invitation first to the Lord of the Universe (Lord Jagannath) before sending them to any other. For an Odia, Jagannath is everything, his/ her friend, savior, mentor and guide.
On the onset of the New English Calendar Year, how our Riders could miss a ride to Shri Jagannath Dham Puri on the first weekend. The first day of 2018 was a Monday and a working day for many and hence when we reached the first weekend, under the Captaincy of Lalit Sir, marched proudly keeping a deep faith in the tradition of having Lord Jagannath Darshan at Puri on the first weekend of the New Year. As planned, on Sunday, 07th of January, 7 Riders assembled at the Club House to start their Ride to Bada Deula (Bada-Grand, Deula-Temple). We must include here that everything associated with Lord Jagannath is annexed with the word “Bada-Grand” (i.e. Bada Danda – the Street, Bada Deula, the temple, Bada Thakura – the Deity and so on). The temperature of the previous night fall to almost 11 Degrees and the morning temperature was almost 17 Degrees to make the environment just perfect for a Century Ride. On the way, we were joined by 2 other riders and then by 04 more from Cuttack gradually increasing the size of the peloton on the road.
We took tea at our first usual pit stop at Pipili Bypass. Without spending much time, we started forward towards Puri, as if it was the magic of Shri Jagannath that is pulling us towards His Abode. By 8:30 AM, we reached Maa Dakshin Kali Temple near Chandanpur and took blessings. We rode to Bata Mangala then after to seek permission from the Goddess to visit Lord Jagannath (another tradition for visiting Lord Jagannath Temple). Here we decided to make our breakfast halt and took simple and hot breakfast on lotus leaf plates (this is another specialty of Puri to eat on lotus leaf plates and throw them as you finish eating – an eco-friendly and hygienic way of having food).
As this was first Sunday of the Year, the crowd was huge in Puri and so are the number of cars and other motorized vehicles on the route. We rode cautiously and reached in front of Shri Jagannath Temple on Bada Danda at 10:30AM. As the magic of the Lord of the Universe continued, we felt like visiting inside the temple and have a Darshan, though some of us were hesitating as it would be quite late as the queue was far longer than expected. Some of us, who have not bathed in the morning, went to Narendra Puskarini (the historical pond) to take a bath. Who could stop us if there is a will of the Lord himself to allow us to visit His Fanfare? The queue we choose to enter the temple magically went past the security check quite rapidly and in no time we reached inside the temple premises. As per ritual, there is a specific manner to visit around the temple before having Darshan of the Trinity on Bada Simhasana. And we followed that ritual as guided by one of our fellow cyclists and had a grand Darshan of the Trinity through the crowd. It was no less than magic that we could complete the entire Darshan within 20 minutes of entering into the temple, which usually takes hours in normal days and even more on special days.
After completing the darshan and taking customary snaps in front of the Shri Mandir (as no gadgets and camera is allowed inside the temple for security reasons), we decided to ride back to Bhubaneswar following the same route on which we moved on.
Everything was magical about this ride. The riders, the riding, the pit stops, the Darshan and the ride back, everything was so well timed and paced that we were full of energy even after returning from this Century Plus Ride. It was pure blessings of Lord Jagannath that we could complete the first weekend with a 120 KM + ride (for some of us it was 150+) on the first weekend of the New Year.
#New_Year_Ride #Shri_Jagannath_Dham_Puri #Pure_Bliss #Century_Ride #Heritage_Adventure #Odia_Tradition #Bada_Deula #Bada_Danda #Bada_Thakura #Cycling_for_Friendship #Bhubaneswar_Cycling #Ride_for_Fun #Bhubaneswar_Cycling_and_Adventure_Club