Hera Panchami Ritual Observed During Puri Rath Yatra.

July 11, 2024 12:54 PM.

The Hera Panchami ritual, an integral part of the Rath Yatra in Puri, is a captivating tradition where Goddess Laxmi expresses her anger towards Lord Jagannath by damaging his chariot, Nandighosha. Observed on the festival’s fifth day, this ritual is marked by a grand procession.

The Hera Panchami festival, celebrated today, portrays Goddess Laxmi’s anger towards Lord Jagannath for staying away from Srimandir during the Rath Yatra and not taking her along. Reflecting Odia cultural norms, where wives get upset if their husbands come home late, Goddess Laxmi is displeased with Lord Jagannath’s extended absence from Shee Mandir.

Servitors carry Goddess Laxmi to the Gundicha temple in a palanquin, accompanied by a vibrant procession through Puri Grand Road. After completing Maha Snana, Sarbanga, Besha, and Bandapana rituals, Goddess Laxmi’s procession halts near the Nandighosha chariot, where she is ceremoniously welcomed. She receives an ‘Agyan Mala’ (garland of consent) but cannot enter the Gundicha temple as the door is closed, making her feel neglected and angry. To express her frustration, she instructs her servitors to damage part of Lord Jagannath’s chariot.

Feeling remorseful for her actions, Goddess Laxmi secretly returns to Srimandir through Hera Gohiri Sahi without fanfare. Hera Panchami also marks the beginning of Bahuda Jatra (the return journey) as the chariots are turned southward in a process called Dakhina Moda.