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Nabakalebara of Lord Jagannath || Mysterious facts you need to know||

Nabakalebara of Lord Jagannath
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The Nabakalebara of Lord Jagannath is an important festival in Jagannath Temple of Odisha as per Jagannath Sanskruti.

Naba means new and Kalebara means body. So in Nabakalebara, the four deities of Jagannath temple relinquish their old bodies. Then contain a new body.

Table of Contents

    What time Nabakalebara festival celebrated?

    The Nabakalebara rituals perform in a year when the full moon occurs twice on a month of Asada (Joda Asada). As per the Hindu calendar, it falls in the month from June to July.

    This period is called Adhimasa or Malamasa. This Adhimasa or Malamasa is occurring once in every 08 or 12 or 19 years. That year is considered the most auspicious year for the rebirth of deities.

    Most time Joda Adhimasa falls in a 19-year interval. In some cases, it falls under 08 year or 12-year interval.

    Last Nabakalebara of Lord Jagannath

    The last Nabakalebara celebration started with Bana Jaga yatra on 29th March 2015.It is completed at midnight on 15th June 2015. It is celebrated after a 19-year interval.

    First Nabakalebara of Lord Jagannath

    As per Jagannath Sanskruti researchers and historians,

    The exact starting year is not clear.

    The Nabakalebara rituals of Lord Jagannath are more than 400 years old. It is not clear that before 500 years this ritual celebrated or not.

    As per Madala Panji and other Grantha,

    The Nabakalebara is celebrated during the Bhoi dynasty king Gajapati Ramachandradeva (First). He is well known as Abhinaba Indradyumna.

    He is the founder of the Bhoi Dynasty. During his ruling period in the year, 1575 Nabakalebara started at Khordha Gada. From this time to date 25 times Nabakalebara rituals celebrated. The next Nabakalebara will fall in the year 2034.

    Lord Jagannath Nabakalebara Celebration year List

    Nabakalebara Celebration year List
    Nabakalebara celebration year list

    Do you know the Rituals of Nabakalebar of Lord Jagannath?

    Nabakalebara means the rebirth of the deities as per the rituals of Srimandir Puri. The Soul (Brahma Padartha) of the deities transferred from the old idols to the new idols.

    The old bodies of the idols buried at Koili Baikuntha on Amavasya night. This work started from Chitra Masa Sulka Pakshya Dasmi Tithi (As per the Hindu calendar).

    There are various types of rituals performed in this process.  All the rituals are performed according to the Veda and Sastras. It is not possible to describe all the procedures step by step. But I am trying to cover the important steps in the Nabakalebar process.

    1. AagyaMalla (Permission of deities)

    The Sevaks has taken four Aagyamalla from the four deities. (Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra, and Lord Sudarshan of Srimandir).

    Then travel towards Srinagar with a procession through the Simba Dwara (Lion gate). These travelers know as “Bana Jaga Yatri”

    After reached Srinagar the Vedic rituals are performed. Then they came to Shree Jagannath Ballavh Math and stay there till the next day night.

    Again they started their journey towards Maa Mangala temple with the Aagya Malla. Different types of Vedic rituals performed at Maa Mangala Temple Kakatpur.

    Then they stayed at Deuli Matha for the next seven days. Pray to Maa Mangala for obtaining information about the place Daru. They were recited different Vedic mantras as per Vedic rule for obtaining the blessing of Maa Mangala.

    The Bana Yagi Yatri getting the Daru information from the Maa Mangala. Then after they divided into 4 parts in four directions.
    They started to search the Daru as per the information given by Maa Mangala.

    2. Identification of Daru

    The Bana Jaga Yatri searched the Daru (Neem Tree). Then they verify the symbols in the Daru as per Srimandir rules.

    If the Daru qualified all the parameters as per Vedic rules then it was declared publicly. After that, the Vedic procedures performed.

    The four Daru were selected in the above procedure. Vedic rituals are performed after identification.

    3. Daru Chedan (Tree Cutting Process)

    The cutting process initiated after the identification of daru. The  Vedic Jayga and other Vedic procedures performed by the selected Vedic Pandits.

    The Daru is cutting with golden, silver, and Iron axes.

    4. Daru Transportation in Nabakalebara

    After completion of the Daru Chedan process,

    The Darus (Wood Logs) was transported with specially designed Sagadi (carts) from the place of Daru to Srimandir Puri.

    This Sagadi is prepared by Maharana Sevaks. After that Sagadi Pratista work performed by the Vedic Pandits.

    The Daru is covered with Gita Govinda Khandua Patta and other Bastras.  A special kind of Patta rasi (rope) was prepared to knot the Daru in the Sagadi.

    The 04 Daru Sagadi enters into the Srimandir through the North Dwara (North Gate). It placed in the temporarily made Daru Gruha inside of the Koili Baikuntha. This Dwara is also known as Devjana Dwara.

    Daru Sagadi
    Daru Sagadi

    5. Nirman (Carving) of Idols from Daru (Wood Log)

    The Darus placed in Nirman mandap at Koili Baikutha. The Vedic Yagya performed before starting the carving work.

    The Biswakarma Maharana Sevaks carving the Darus. They make the new idols with the supervision of  Daitapatis.

    All the carving rituals and work were finished within 11 days and the area is restricted for others.

    6. Brahma Paribartan (Ghat Paribartan)

    The Brahma Paribartan is the most secret procedure. It is a mysterious thing in the whole process of Nabakalebar of Lord Jagannath.

    This Brahma Padartha was transferred from the old idols to new idols at the time of midnight. This work performed by 03 Daitapati and 01 Pati Mohapatra Sevak.

    At that time whole temple premises darkened and only one Deepa (Lamp) is lightening. During this time  Vedic rituals secretly performed in presence of the above Sevaks

    What is this Brahma Padartha?

    It believed that the Brahma Padartha is the small body parts of Lord Krushna that are not burnt in a fire in Satya Juga.

    This body part was later found by the successor of the family of Gara Sabar’s named Viswavasu. He has kept it in a cave in a deep forest.

    The Buddhists believed that it is the Tooth of Lord Budhha. Some others believed that it is a Live Salagram or some parts of the first Daru which made in Satya Juga, etc.

    After Ghat Paribartan the old idols buried at Koili Baikuntha and the Daitapatis performs the Bidhis as per Srimandir rule.

    What is the procedure to select Daru for Nabakalebara?

    a. Lord Jagannath Daru Symbol

    • The Neem tree has four branches.
    • The tree needs to be straight
    • The color of the tree bark (Bakala) need to be light Krishna Color
    • The symbol of Chakra & Shankha need to be found in the tree
    • No bird make their nest in the tree
    • The tree is worshipped or any temple built near the tree.
    • Snake safeguard the tree
    • The tree never affected with lightening or storm

    b. Shree Balabhadra  Daru Symbol

    • The tree bark (Bakala) color needs to be white or light white.
    • The tree is straight with 7 branches.
    • The Symbol of Plough Hala & Musala is found in the tree bark.

    c. Devi Subhadra Daru Symbol

    • The tree bark (Bakala) color needs to be light yellow.
    • The tree is straight with 7 branches.
    • The Symbol of  Lotus petals is found in the tree bark

    d. Shree Sudarshan Daru Symbol

    • The tree bark (Bakala) color needs to be light red.
    • A snake need to stay near the tree
    • The Symbol of  Shankha, Chakra & Gada is found in the tree bark
    • Burial sites need to found near the tree


    Nabakelabara of Lord Jagannath is a most auspicious ceremony of the Jagannath Temple. It is an important festival of Jagannath Sanskruti of Odisha.

    The Mahaprabhu Lord Jagannath blessing the whole world and also pass a message to human beings that nothing is permanent in the world.

    The Lord of the Universe teaches us that every creation in the world will destroy with time. Again new things will create. So maintained peace and brotherhood in the society.

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    “Jay Jagannath”