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Besha – Dress Color Worn Each Day Of Week By Jagannath In Puri Temple

On each day of a week, Bhagavan Shree Jagannath of Puri Jagannath Temple wears a different color dress. This is known as Sadha Besha. Every day the three deities (Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra) are dressed with following types of colored Baralagi pata (silken cloths) from Sunday to Saturday. The color represents the color of the planets or navagrahas.

  1. Sunday - Red cloth
  2. Monday - Whitish cloth decorated with black spots
  3. Tuesday - Cloths mixed with five colors (Pancharangi)
  4. Wednesday - Sky blue color clothes
  5. Thursday - Yellow clothes
  6. Friday - White clothes
  7. Saturday - Violet color clothes

Besha is a Sanskrit word, which means dress, costume or attire. Every day from the ‘Mangala Arati’ till ‘Ratri Pahuda’, the deities on the ‘Ratnavedi’ of Puri Shree Jagannath Temple are adorned with cotton and silken fabrics, gold ornaments studded with precious stones, flowers of several kinds and other leaves, herbs sandal paste and camphor.

Regular – Daily Beshas Or Clothes

Abakasha or Tadapa Uttari Besha: Abakasha means the brushing of teeth and bathing rituals of the deities. This Besha is done everyday immediately after Mangala Arati. The clothes, which are worn by the deities for this purpose are known as ‘Tadapa’ and ‘Uttariya’.

Bada Singhara Besha

The most important decoration of the day is the Bada Singhara Besha. It is done every night before the Ratri Pahuda (last ritual). Bada Singhara Besha is usually made up of different types of floral ornaments and Gita Govinda Khandua Pata (silken clothes set). 

The three deities are decorated with floral ornaments like Adhara, Jhumpa, Chandrika, Tilaka, Hruda Padaka, Kara Pallav, Guna, Gava and a number of garlands; some of these are inter-mixed with tulsi leaves. 

The deities wear silken clothes called ‘Khandua’. An extract from the famous Sanskrit verses of ‘Gita Govinda’ composed by the renowned sanskrit poet Jayadeva is woven in the ‘khandua’ clothes.

The head is covered with a cloth called Srikapada (cloth for the head). They are adorned with Karapallava (hands) and Padaka (circular lotus like decoration with flowers). This is a very attractive Besha and till the Mangal Arati is offered in the following morning (the deities remain attired in this Besha). Seeing the deities in this beautiful decoration is believed to be very auspicious.

Palia Puspalak Sevaks tie on to the heads a kind of clothes called ‘Srikapada.’ They put flower ornaments like ‘Alaka’ on the face with ‘Kundal’ and ‘Chandrika’ etc. In their particular costume a laterally multi folded saree is stuck on to each. The floral ornaments like ‘Nakuasi’ and ‘Nakachana’ are put on the noses and ‘Adharmala’ are made to be hung around the arms. Below this, another garland hangs which is called ‘Chausaramala’. Three huge attractive lockets called as ‘Hruda Padaka’ are stuck to the middle of the chest of three deities. 

The Puspalaka having completed the embellishment, through flowers, sprays camphor powder on them. In the navels ‘Nakha Tulasi’ (a mixture of crusted tulsi leaves and camphor) is pasted. The devotees wait eagerly late in the night to watch this darshan.

On special occasions the deities have different dresses.