Nabakalabara 2015 – It’s time for Deities Idol Change in Puri

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The word Nabakalebar denotes the new body in Odia language and the deities of the grand temple Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan undergo exactly the same on the great occasion. The new wooden idols are carved and old ones are cremated by following the prescribed rites as mentioned in the centuries old scriptures.


This change-over of bodies takes place once every 8 to 18 years depending on the almanac positions as per the Hindu calendar. It is usually held in a year when the month of Asadha is followed by another Asadha. Accordingly the previous ‘Nabakalebars’ took place in the years 1969, 1978, and 1996; and the forthcoming one will be held in the year 2015.


“Just as one gives up worn out clothes and puts on new ones, even so does the embodied self give up decrepit bodies and enter new ones,” says the Geeta. Lord Jagannath is but a reflection of human existence encompassing all its facets.


With the forthcoming Nabakalebar event at puri to be held in the year 2015, the preparations for the same are on war footing. Both age-old complicated religious ritual leading to preparation of wooden idols to huge preparation on infrastructure front keeping in view massive turnout of devotees. Crowd management, law and order, health issues, transport, parking and many more, Odisha Government is working overtime to meet the deadline well in advance.


On religious front the temple priests have to identify the holy tree with a group of search team members as prescribed in the temple records, tracing the trees with support of divine dream during their stopover at Kakatpur, the abode of Goddess Mangala, Carving of the idols, transfer of Bramha from old to new idol and finally the sacred burial happens to be major rituals leading to Nabakalebar of Lord Jagannath


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