The period of Anavasara, in which the Deities remain hidden from the general people, goes from Snana Purnima to Ashada Amavasya. After the Deities return from the Snana mandapa and reach the Anavasara Pindi, the Tadau Sevakas remove the rahu rekha and chittas (tilaka marks made of sapphire, ruby and diamond for Balabhadra, Subhadra and Jagannatha respectively) from the heads of the Deities and hand them over to the Deula Karana who in turn covers the ornaments with the srikapada brought from the Changada Mekapa and puts them away safely in the Bandhara Ghara.
Then the Daitas cover the faces of the three Deities (Balabhadra, Subhadra, Jagannatha) with three Khandua saris brought by the Changada Mekapa, after which the Suasias put a bamboo boundary around the Anavasara Pindi. After this, the Pokharia or Garbha Griha is closed from outside. In the meanwhile the patti dias (pattachitra paintings of the three Deities, Vasudeva for Balabhadra, Bhuvanesvari for Subhadra and Narayana for Jagannatha) are brought from the house of the Chitrakaras. The Mahajanas bring Dola Govinda, Rama and Nrisingha for Balabhadra, Sridevi and Bhudevi for Subhadra and Madana Mohana and Krishna for Jagannatha. The seven Deities, along with the three patti dias, are called the Dasa Avatara Thakura. All these ten Deities are placed on a cot on which Their Snana takes place with panchamrita and Vallabha Bhoga is offered to all the ten Deitites.
During the Anavasara period, all the daily rituals of the temple take place before these ten Deities. However Mailama takes place only twice, once during the day and then at night, while that during the rest of the year Mailama takes place after every food offering or Dhupa. Until the Madhyana Dhupa for the Dasa Avatara Deities is over, the Dakshina Dvara remains closed. Ater the Madhyana dhoopa the Jaya Vijaya Dvara is closed and the Pati Mohapatras ask the Mudulis to open the Dakshina Dvara. Then the Daitas perform Mailama for the main Deities inside the Anavasara Pindi. It is to be noted that no one other than the Daitas and Pati Mahapatras are allowed entry into the Anavasara Pindi. After the Mailama, the Pati Mahapatras offer Pana Bhoga to the main Deities. After the Bada Shringara of the Dasa Avatara Deities and before their Pahuda, Chakata Bhoga is offered to the main Deities. This Chakata Bhoga consists of washed bean sprouts and ripe jackfruit; it is prepared by Daitas and stored in the Mukta Nrisimha temple. A “medicine” is offered, called pana and made with medicinal herbs and plants collected in the forest, mixed with water, yogurt, green coconut water, nutmeg, camphor and chandana. Only white flowers are offered to the main Deities during this period.
Anavasara Panchami or Phulari Lagi
On this day the Daitas anoint the Deities with sesame oil, camphor and chua oil, provided by the Oriya Matha and the King. This ritual is called Phulari lagi. Anavasara Dasami or Chaka Vijaya: on this day the Deities sit on a round stone structure called Chaka. As it is understood that He is “indisposed”, Sri Jagannatha is offered a medicine called dasamula naivedya.
Anavasara Ekadasi and Chandana Lagi
The Raghava Das Matha and the King provide sandalwood from which paste is prepared by the Ghatuary Sevakas. On Ekadasi the chandana (sandalwood) is brought into the Dakshina Ghara, where a paste is prepared with camphor and saffron under the supervision of the Deula Karana. This camphor and saffron paste is added to the sandalwood paste. The main Deities along with the Dasa Avatara Deities are anointed with this sandalwood-camphor-saffron mixture, to the accompaniment of musical instruments.
Anavasara Dvadasi and Raja Prasada
On this day a number of silver trays (the number of silver trays used equals the number of living members in the royal family) are placed on a piece of cloth spread by the Asthana Pratihari. Then they are covered by silk cloth and carried into the Anavasara Pindi by the Daitas. The Daitas put the remains of the srianga chandana, karala chandana and silk ropes on the silver tray and carry the trays outside. The trays are then sent to the Sri Nahara.
On this day the Deities are covered with a special white paste prepared with wheat flour, a ritual called Khali lagi. Also, the Sudu Suaras clean out the unused materials from the Anavasara Pindi.
On this day after Bada Shringara, Pana Bhoga and Chakat Bhoga, the Datta Mahapatras repaint the Deities: this ritual is called Banaka lagi. After this, Mangala Arati is performed for the Dasa Avatara Deitites and five of them (Dola Govinda, Rama, Nrisimha, Madana Mohana and Krishna) are carried by the Mahajanas back to the Dakshina Ghara and Sridevi, Bhudevi are put on a cot in the Khata Seja Ghara. By this time it is the early morning of Pratipada and the doors of the Garbha Griha are open to the public. The special Darshans on this day is called NabaJaubana darshan, as the youthfulness of the Deities has been renewed with the new painting. Traditionally prepared black colour is brought in a silver vessel and the eyeballs of the three Deities are painted by the Puja Pandas. This ritual is called Netrotsava, as the eyes of the Deities are “opened” and They can look upon the devotees. The festival is also called Ubha yatra. In the meanwhile the patti devata are “uninstalled” (a ritual called visarjana). At the same time, with a traditional ceremony the chariots are positioned ready to start.
After the morning meal, the flower garlands are carried from the temple to the chariots in procession with accompaniment of conchshells, bells and musical instruments. After being garlanded, the chariots are pulled from the Sri Nahara (the King’s palace) to the Simha Dvara of the Jagannatha temple – first Balabhadra’s Taladhvaja, Subhadra’s Darpadalana, and then Jagannatha’s Nandighosha. On the same day after Sandhya dhupa, the 3 kalasas are carried to the chariots and mounted on top of them. The kalasas used to be made of gold but now they are made of astadhatu. The flags are fastened, too. The consecration of the chariots is completed with the Ratha Pratistha, celebrated in the Chahani Mandapa. A mandala in the shape of a 36-petal lotus flower is drawn in the Chahani mandapa, Varuna is worshiped, then the officiating priest declares the sankalpa, the intention to perform the Ratha yatra. Narasimha is worshiped and a fire sacrifice with 1008 ahutis is performed. Finally after the Bada Sringara dressing and the bed time arati, the Deities are changed again into the Sena-Patta (“military dress”) and Sukla Sajja (“white dress”), for the next day travel.