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Servitors of Jagannath

Servitors of Jagannath

According to the list of the servitors in Record of Rights,1952. here are the categories of sevaks, who served Lord Jagannatha in Sri Mandir, Puri :

1. Gajapati Maharaja: The King of Puri is considered the Aadya sevak (first servant) of Jagannatha, when he is absent from Puri, he is represented by the Mudirasta.

2.The Rajgurus or Paricchas are the preceptors of the King, considered the supervisors; the Bada Pariccha belongs to the Vatsasa gotra and the Sana Pariccha belongs to the Atreya gotra.

3. Pati Mahapatra, descendants of Vidyapati specifically from the Kaundinya gotra; they change the
Brahmah(alive Supersoul) to the new Deities at Nabakalevara, does all the prime work of the deities, are considered as the chief among the servitors.

4. The Bhitaraccha Mahapatra is always present at the opening of the temple, check the seal and instruct to open the door and checks the purity of the bhoga to be offered, only he is subjected to do the Mangal Arti of Lord Jagannatha.

5. The Pattajoshi Mahapatra, Chatisha Niyoga Nayaka is the general manager of the temple, whose approval is required for acceptance of candidates to temple service, and who can report Sevakas if found negligent.

6. The Taluccha Mohapatra, who personally puts the seals at the night. he is supposed to do the sandhya arti of Lord Jagannatha, he is the mahabisoi servitor in charge of the sacred kitchen of Sri Mandir.

7.  Mudirasta he is the representative of the King, on attaining adolescence he can't perform his seva, he perfoms rajaniti vandapana and prasada lagi, sarvanga chandan lagi of Lord Balabhadra, escort the Queen of Puri, Patta mahadei to the Temple on her secret Gahana vije service.

8.  Deula Purohita(Temple priest), perform the fire sacrifice and oversees the worship of the smaller shrines.They are supposed to do the Ratha Pratistha after the fire sacrifice conducted that day.

9. Puja Panda, the direct worshipers of the Deities.
All the Puja Pandas are expected to follow very strict purity regulations in their private lives besides their temple duty; they are never supposed to eat outside (like in restaurants or in other people’s houses), rather they bring home Mahaprasada for themselves and their family. In case the share of Mahaprasada they receive in exchange for their service is not sufficient for the family maintenance, the wife/mother is supposed to cook the food following very strict cleanliness rules. When they go to the temple for their service, they wear a special borderless dhoti and uttariya called palia makuta, without any shirt or underwear, they remove watches and eyeglasses; only a little sandalwood paste on the forehead (with the vertical tilaka) and a Tulasi necklace are permitted. If he is touched by a dog or some unclean person (even by their shadows), he has to return home and take bath again and change clothes. He must always be clean shaved (no mustache allowed, although mustache can be grown together with beard) and cut fingernails short. Their hair is tied on the back in a bun. Inside the temple, he cannot sit on a straw mat but simply on the floor, and if it is raining on his service day, he can carry only a traditional palm leaf umbrella to the temple.

10.  Bada Panda; they are the authorities for the Puja Pandas, the Pujapanda of Lord Jagannatha is considered as the chief.after getting married a pujapanda is fit to perform service for the deities, after getting the permission he is supposed to perform for Lord Balabhadra,after attain perfection he will be promoted to perform for Devi Subhadra and on becoming an expert only a pujapanda will get the permisson to seat on Lord Jagannatha's Row for the Puja.

10. Pushpalaka or Singhari, they dress and decorate the Deities.
11. Mahajana, take care of the representative Deities of Jagannatha, the vijaya pratima or utsava vigrahas, these smaller metal Deities who go around for festivals.
12. Pata Siropa Nayak, or temple executive.
13. Khuntia, guard the Deities except for the period from Snana Purnima to Niladri Vijaya and during Nabakalevara (when their work is done by Daitapatis)

  • - Palia Kunthia, in charge of flowers and flower decorations for the Deities, take offerings from devotees
  • and present them to the Deities, and do any other service instead of the other Kunthias,
  • - Behera Kunthia, during Ratha yatra they go to the King's palace to invite him for the sweeping of the chariots, lead the procession and lead the king around the Rathas,
  • - Billie Jaga Kunthia, they guard the doors of the internal mandapas so that no cats enter while the bhoga is offered; if any cat gets in, the Bhoga is ruined and the whole offering has to be prepared again from scrap.
  • - Godabharika Kunthia, they move the big bench used by the Singhari or Pushpalaka to stand for decorating the Deities on the Simhasana,
  • - Chamu Khuntia is the Sevaka for the King, he addresses the Deities calling Them, "manima"
  • - Sri Khuntia is the Sevaka for Mahalakshmi

The Mekapa, in charge of store and supplying various things from the store (including the puja utensils)
14. Bhandara Mekapa, in charge of the treasury room of the temple, called Bhandara Ghara, containing all
the gold ornaments and jewels belonging to the Deities,
15. Palia Mekhapa, substitute Mekhapa
16. Akhanda Mekhapa, keep the akhanda dipa (eternal lamp) burning for 24 hours a day, without
interruption. All other lamps are lit from this one, which is beside Lord Jagannatha on the Ratna singhasana,
17. Changada Mekhapa, in charge of the Deities clothes, he brings and returns them to a big bamboo basket called changada in the storeroom; he can sell used cloth of Lord Jagannatha to devotees,
18. Khataseja Mekhapa, in charge of the beds
19. Pratihari: door guards, who watch the devotees coming and enforce discipline, now helped by
policemen (Jagannatha Temple Police or JTP); they also go to the kitchen and call for the food offering to be brought to the Deities

  • - the Asthana Pratihari is in charge of asanas and the Kalahata Dvara
  • - the Paraba Yatra Pratihari watches the representative Deities when They are coming out from the temple,
  • - the Badadvara Pratihari is in charge of the internal doors,
  • - the Khurijaga Pratihari keeps the time schedule,
  • - the Chamudwara Pratihari is in charge of the temple front door,
  • - the Dwarghara Pratihari is in charge of other temple doors,

20.The Gochikars help the Pratiharis in their service and guard the kitchen doors.
21. Daita called as Daitapati as they perform service with the Bhramins Pati Mohapatra, they perform service during Nabakalevara and from Snana Purnima to Niladri Vijaya; they carry the Deities from Ratna singhasana to Ratha and inside Gundicha. They have a great intimacy with Jagannatha lean against him, sleep with him, carry him, act as his bodyguards and observe the family rituals, they takes the batting water of lord on snana purnima to put on their stove to cook during the period of anabasara.
The Badus collect and prepare the materials for puja:
22. Patri Badu, check to see that all utensils are ready for puja throughout the day.
23. Gara Badu, bring water from the temple well for puja.
24. Suar Badu, wash all utensils needed for puja, like conchshell, water containers, thali before each puja.
25. Khuri Nayaka, keeps track of time for the rituals, he is the astrologer to lord, he reads out the daily astrological position of the deities before them during Abakasha.
26. Mukha Pakala, cleans the face of the Deities after They have taken food
27. Ghatuari, prepares chandana, or sandalwood paste.
28. Gochi Kara, collect flowers for puja
29. Suna Gosvami, collect water from the Suna kua
30. Muduli, work on instruction of Talucchha Mahapatra. He seals the temple doors at night after the Deities have been put to rest, and verifies the number of the puja utensils after puja (to prevent stealing of utensils).
31. Alati Balita Sevaka, prepare the cotton wicks for the lamps (dipas)
32. Purana Panda, they recite various scriptures like Puranas inside the temple every day, especially in the evenings.
33. Dutta Mahapatra, does the Banaka Lagi, painting of the Sri Mukha of the Deities.
34. Dobha a bhramin or Maha Sethi, also called Pani Kunda Sevaka, washes clothes,
35. Vallabha Joganya, arrange for the Vallabha Bhoga offerings
36. Vimana Badu, carry the vimana (palanquin)
37. Anasara Sudu Suar and Sudasuar, prepare the offerings during the Anavasara period,
38. Hadapa Nayaka, prepare the betel offering (called bidiya)
39. Bidiya Joganya, bring the betel bidiya for the offering
40. Khatuli Sevaka, in charge of the small asanas for the Deities,
41. Asthana Pratihari, guards the asanas
42. Kotha Bhoga Joganya, arranges for the Kotha Bhoga offerings
43. Pradhani, call the Puja Pandas and distributes prasada after puja
44. Paikha, security guards for the entire temple
45. Lenka, carriers of Sudarshana during various rituals
46. Suara Niyoga Nayaka, head of the Suara Niyoga
The Mahasuaras and suaras are all engaged in cooking; besides the basic cooking activity, they also prepare bhoga and place it for offering according to this subdivision:
47. Suar Niyog and Mahasuara, the cooks and the head cook in the temple kitchen,
48. Jagya Mahasuara, supervises the cooked food
49. Bada Suara, Thali, Turna (or Tunya), and Amalu Suara, arrange the plates for the offering
50. Patri Badu, arranges the paraphernalia for the puja
51. Amalu Tola or Purakharadi, remove the main plates after the offering,
52. Tola Badu, remove the offered water
53. Rosa Paika, security guard for the kitchen
54. Bahara Deuli Suara, cook for the Deities of the smaller shrines
55. Bahara Deula Joganya, bring the offerings for the Deities of the smaller shrines
56. Rosha Dhopa Khalia, clean the kitchen, Angarua, removes the ashes from the cooking fires, 56.Gobara Pania, brings the cow dung for purification, Rakatia, removes the vegetable peels etc
57. Handi Joganya, Tola Bati, arrange the pots for cooking
58. Birimunda Samartha, arrange for the black lentils (called urad dal or biri)
59. Khotabhoga Pania, bring the water for the Khota Bhoga
60. Paniki Potta, cuts the vegetables
61. Nikapa and Gandhana Nikapa, assistants
62. Biri Buha, carry the sacks of black lentils
63. Dauri Bola, prepare the ropes (now discontinued)
64. Chunnara, Sevakas of Garuda, they also white wash the temple; they tie the flags and place the Ekadasi Mahadipa and the flag on top the temple dome, which requires a climbing of over 300 steps at the height of over 215 feet above the ground. Until the flag is set up, no food can be offered. Today only some family are doing the job. On Deva Deepabali, the festival of lights in the temple (which is different from the general Deepabali observed in the homes), this family decorates the whole top of the dome with small lamps and supervises the decoration with lamps of the other parts of the temple.
65. Sabata Nijoga, temple cleaners
66. Pania Pata, arrange the water for the offerings and clean the utensils
67. Mandani, draw the mandalas
68. Chaka Apasara, arrange the cushions for the Deities
69. Mulia Suasia, build the chamundia canopies,Now kotha suasias perform there works.
70. Binakara, play the vina (now discontinued)
71. Darpania, arrange the mirrors
72. Khota Suasia, arrange the Khota Bhoga
73. Mahabhoi, carriers of Mahaprasada, ladies of this family serves lord on labanikhia niti outside the temple athe carried the Vandapana of Sri Madanmohan and Rama Krushna.
74. Gita Govinda Sevaka, female Sevikas (Maharis) who sing the Gita Govinda (now discontinued)
75. Bhitara Gauni, female Sevikas (Maharis) who sing inside the Pokharia (Garbha Griha)
76. Sampradani Niyoga, female Sevikas (Maharis) who perform various other rituals (now discontinued)
77. Dayana Mali, collect Dayana leaves to be offered to the Deities (now done by phuluri khuntia)
78. Madeli, Mardala drum players (now discontinued)
79. Prasada Badu, Badu Mahapatra, assistants for the Mahaprasada service
80. Tattua, divides the shares of Mahaprasada for the Sevakas
81. Pattara Bandha, prepare plates with leaves (now discontinued)
82. Vaijayanti, play the bugle (musical instrument) the telengi baja.
83. Chattara Niyoga, carry the royal parasol
84. Kahalia, play the Vvira Kahali (musical instrument) the ceremonial Trumpet.
85. Sankhua, play the conchshell (now discontinued)
86. Parva Yatra Joganya, assistants during specific festivals
87. Chitrakara, painters (general)
88. Rupakara, painters of the main Deities
89. Bania, jewellers
90. Damara Bisoi, arranges the damaru shaped pedestals for the Deities.(Now Asthana Pratihari does this seva)
91. Karatiya, carpenters (performed by Maharanas)
92. Benta Bhinda Paika, arrange for “hunting expeditions”
93. Patara Bisoi, arranges the clothes for the Deities
94. Kola Bethia, general assistants (now discontinued)
95. Daraji Seva, tailors; stich clothes of the deities, cloths for chariots, they also fix the brass Chakra on top of each chariot for Ratha Yatra
96. Kumbhara Bisoi, make earthen pots for cooking (now some villages have taken the charge of making the pots)
97. Ratha Bhoi, tie the ramp made of wood logs to the Rathas (now done by kotha suasias)
98. Malachula, provide the garlands for the Deities
99. Banua, shoot the arrows on behalf of the Deities (lenka perform this rituals)
100. Chakra Dihudi, light the lamp on a disk-shaped.
101. Ojha Maharana, carpenters, especially build the chariots
102. Ghanta Seva, arrange the ghanta (small metal gong)
103. Ghantua, play the ghanta
104. Ratha Dahuka, drive the chariots at Ratha yatra
105. Badhei, carpenters
106. Vaidya, physician
107. Amunya Chatara, parasol bearers for some special Bhoga offerings to the main Deities
108. Chamu Dihudi, light the lamps inside the temple room and for the King
109. Chapa Behera, milkman, provide milk for Chandana yatra
110. Chapa Dolei, boatmen for Chandana yatra
111. Mapa Saita Karana, keep accountings for the measurement of Deities’ clothes
112. Tadhau Karana, assistant accountants
113. Deula Karana, head accountant of sri mandir
114. Baiti Karana, keep accountings for ghi and lamps
115. Kotha Karana, keep accountings for the Kotha Bhoga
116. Charcha Karana, accountants (now discontinued)
117. Dayana Patra, arrange the dayana leaves for the offerings
118. Chaula baccha Karana, keep accountings for the rice.
119. Matha and Bhaktigata Sevaka, keep the contacts with the Mathas
120. Jaripatuka, make embroidery decorations
121. Kansari, supply brass pots and plates
122. Gudia, supply sweets and milk
123. Teli, supply oil
124. Halua, gardeners
125. Kalabethia, move the chariot for the Ratha Yatra
126. Bara gothiala, take care of the cows
127. Chuhana, in charge of the rice store
128. Bandhari, barber
129. Kamar, blacksmith for special works
130. Luhara, make special iron works, like gate grills etc
131. Bauria, take care of the coconut trees
132. Sahukar, shopkeeper
133. Baitha Palia holds the lamp.(A servitor name dihuadia does it.)

It's about the types of Servitors as recorded after independence, however, the ones those are marked with red are now not there any more.


  1. Interesting to know the categories of sevaks, did not know about them at all. Thanks for enlightening me.

  2. It’s great to learn about new cultures!

  3. Culutures are really good to be known and more informative too.

  4. Yes I have heared that king is considered as first servant.

  5. I like to know new cultures and new places. Thank you.

  6. This is a wonderful and mystic culture, really liked reading about it!


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