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Puri Jagannath Temple to have New Idols (Murtis) of Presiding Deities in 2015

The Puri Jagannath Temple in Orissa will have new idols of the presiding deities in 2015. The new deities will be made available for darshan on July 16. The new murtis will participate in the Rath Yatra taking place on July 18. The present murtis will be replaced with new murtis made out of neem tree. The change of murtis is known as Nabakalebara and takes place when there is an Adhik Ashada Masa or extra Ashada month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar. In 2015 there is an additional Ashada month.

The change of murtis last took place 19 years ago.

The murtis are made from a special type of neem wood known as Daru Bramha. The murtis of Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subadhra and Sudarshana Chakra are changed. The new body is referred to as Nabakalebara. A wrapped package of brahma (life) is removed from the old murti and is place in the new one.

The old murtis are buried.

Preparations for the ceremony start in the month of Chaitra Month (March – April) (Chaitra Shukla Paksha Dasami).

Last Nabakalebara ceremony was performed in 1996.

The ceremony in 2015 will attract more than 3 million devotees from around the world.