Sri Jagannath symbolises himself as the God of poor people. That is why he is known as Patitapaban (Saviour of the poor). To eradicate arrogance from the rich people and to eradicate complexity of the mind of poor, a rituals is being observed in Sri Mandir called Sahan Mela means (general appearance) to all castes of people. This ritual is observed on each days after completion of Abakash nities .To see Sri Jagannath in Sahan Mella and eat Mahaprasad, lakhs of pilgrims visit Puri on each day. Sri Jagannath adorned on the throne called Ratna Singhasan as a emperor. Every rituals of Sri Jagannath are of the royal type but the general appearance of Sri Jagannath before his devotees is very ordinary in nature. On each morning Sri Jagannath temple doors are opened to all during Sahan Mela (public appearance) after completion of morning work of Lords i.e after taking bath and change of clothing(Abakash nities).
Each person can go to The Lord and have a darshan at close proximity beneath the Ratna Singhasan (throne). During the Sahan mela no fee is charged from the pilgrims. It is an unique featfure of Sri Jagannath Dham that the deity himself gives his appearance before the devotees before taking any morning breakfast. No other temple in India the devotees are allowed to reach at the Singhasan (throne) and prostrated before the deities except Puri Dham. At Tirumalla Tirupati 90 lakhs of devotees visit Lord Venkateswar in a year, but the free darshan is not available there. All the devotees have to go on a queue and see Lord after 6 to 8 hours long waiting in queue. One can have close Darshan in exchange of fee and the darshan is very limited for few seconds. Accordingly 50 lakhs of pilgrims visit Vaishno Devi in a year but no one can have a Darshan at close proximity. The same practice is followed at Kamakshya Temple at Guahati Assam and at Badrinath of Uttaranchal. Special Darshan can be available in exchange of money alike Tirupati. At Tirupati one can get the chance of special oblation to Lord if he has got enough money . But at Sri Mandir, Puri one can not able to sit before Sri Jagannath for special oblation, what so ever rich he may be. Only Gajapati Maharaja of Puri (king of Puri) has got right to have a oblation (puja) on the throne of Sri Jagannatgh. Alike Gajapati, his concert (queen) can offer Puja to the Lord on special occasion called Gahana Bije with the king. The king of Nepal has got right to ascend on the thone of Sri Jagannath to have a Darshan and offering Puja (oblation). During sahan mela at puri Sri Jagannath temple all are treated as same category irrespective of caste and creed, rich and poor. All are same before Lords who raises their hand for salvation of his devotees.
In the temple of Sri Jagannath , the Darshans are available in exchange of money is called Paramanik Darshan. The cost of ticket is rupees 25. Now monthly season ticket is available at the cost of Rs.500/- per month. It is said that this Sahan Mela Darshan (general appearance) has been introduced during the reign of king Ananga Vim Dev. As per report of special officer appointed by Govt. of Orissa dated 30/4/1965, the Sahana Mela Darshan is observed after Abakash Nity i.e at about 7 A.M. In accordance with records of right of Sri Mandir (temple) Sahana Mela are to be allowed two times in a day. First is to be made after Abakash and second after Sandhya Dhupa (supper) of Lords. But now a days, the Sahan Mela is being observed once in morning hours. The Sandya Sahan Mela has been discontinued since long due to late in completion of Sandhya Dhup. It is a clear fact that as the nities are not completed in time, the night sahan mela is not being held . If the temple administration would be vigilant and sincere towards completion of nities in time, then the night Sahan Mela can be observed .For this, the cooperation of Sevayat s (Servants of Lord Jagannath) is indispensible .
In Sri Mandir no special previlage is given to anybody to have a Darshan of Lords. In the Corpus fund of Sri Mandir there were 106 crores of rupees deposited during the year 2007-08 as reveals from the report of Sri Jagannath temple administration. Anybody can donate donation to corpus fond. The minimum donation is one lakh. The person who donates lakhs of rupees to curpus fund do not have any special privilege for darshan of sri Jagannath. Two tickets are offered to the doner for darshan at Sahan Mela within a year on free of cost.Only one guard of temple remains present at the time of Darshan with the donor.
Now innumerable devotees are visiting Sri Mandir every year. The number comes to 75 lakhs approximately. That is why Sri Mandir remains crowded on each day. If administration & Sevayats are more vigilant and generous towards the devotees then Sahan Mela would be held two times a day which can solve the crowd to some extent.jagannath