Resuming Anubhav Yatra, an exposure trip for priests of Jagannath temple
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Anubhav Yatra, an exposure trip for priests of Jagannath temple to various shrines in the country, got a fresh lease of life with the Jagannath temple administration deciding to resume the service, which was discontinued in 2008.
“We would resume the practice again. The date of the holy journey would be finalized later this month,” said chief administrator of the temple Arvind Padhee. “The learning trip will benefit priests, many of whom have not travelled outside the state,” he said.
Worried over the unseemly and uncouth attitude of some priests, the temple body had started the yatra in 2006 with a view to instill a civic sense and a sense of hospitality in them, besides helping them learn about the rituals, etiquette and functioning of other temples.
Around 180 priests out of the total 1600 took up the opportunity to visit several shrines in north and south India in five phases in 2006, 2007 and 2008. But the practice, which had come to be popularly known as ‘training on wheel’, was stalled due to some technical problems.
Temple officials said the previous Anubhav Yatras played a positive role in reforming the behaviour of servitors in the past. “Those who toured several temples in the past were impressed by the attitude and style of functioning of their counterparts. We are hopeful that reintroduction of the practice would mould the behaviour of servitors,” said a temple officer.
Priests welcomed the idea of resuming the yatra. “The Yatra was part of our training. We gained lots of experience after interacting with priests and the management team of several temples,” said senior servitor Rabindranath Pratihari. “We also shared our development schemes with them and understood their reforms. The idea of introducing solar light system at Jagannath temple was learnt from Tirupati temple,” Pratihari said. “We also discussed several topics in the temple and submitted our individual feedback in writing to the temple administration,” he said.