The story behind the appearance of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra in Ganapati Vesha at the Snana Mandap.
Ganapati Bhatta was an ardent disciple of Ganesha. Once he traveled all the way from Maharashtra to witness the Snana Yatra of Lord Jagannath. The Snana Yatra takes place on the full-moon day of Jyeshtha.
When Ganapati Bhatta arrived at the Snana Mandapa, he did not find an elephant head on Lord Jagannath. He was terribly disappointed since he could not behold his favourite God.
Lord Jagannath could gauge the feelings of the devotee. Disguised as a Brahman, the Lord met Ganpati Bhatta as he was leaving Puri in a state of dejection. The Lord persuaded him to visit the Snana Mandap in the evening.
When Ganpati Bhatta reached there he was ecstatic to find Lord Jagannath with the head of an elephant looking exactly like Lord Ganesha.
Since that day each year on the auspicious occasion of Deva Snana Poornima Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra appear in Ganapati Vesha after taking bath at the Snana Mandap.
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