Bhubaneswar: A neem tree whose wood is to be used for carving an idol of Lord Balabhadra was identified near Goddess Sarala shrine in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district, chief of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Suresh Mohapatra said on Friday.

Mohapatra said the Banajaga team has identified the daru (log/wood) to make an idol of Lord Balabhadra at Kanakpur in Tirtol block of Jagatsinghpur. The wood was found near the Jhankad Sarala shrine.

He said the wood for making idols of Lord Jagananth and Devi Subhadra will be identified and announced soon.

Jagatsinghpur District Collector Satya Kumar Mallick said police have put up barricades around the place to secure the site and restrict the free flow of traffic.

“Since large number of people will throng the site to take blessings of Lord Balabhadra, the administration has been asked to deploy adequate number of police officials to manage the situation,” said Mallick.

The Banajaga team comprising about 130 members has been searching for the sacred wood – daru – for making the idols of Lord Jagannath and his siblings ahead of the Nabakalebar festival to be held at the Jagannath temple in Puri in June.

According to the tradition, only wood from a neem tree with special features can be used for making an idol of Lord Balabhadra.

The bark of the neem tree should be white, the tree should have seven branches, it should have a sign of a plough and pestle, it should look like a snake and a ‘bel’ tree must be near it, said SJTA sources.

Earlier, Lord Sudarshan’s daru was identified at Gada Kantunia near Balakati on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.

The rituals to cut the tree for making the idol of Lord Sudarshan will be completed on Friday and the cut pieces would be taken to Puri, said Mohapatra.

Source: IANS