The Shebaits

The division of Ceremonial task among various Shebaits in the Kamakhya Temple and the other temples in Nilachala Hill goes like this:

1. Brahmin Shebaits :

Shebaits Role
Bardeuries The Bardeuris are the traditional five families that finds mention in number of literatures, court orders etc. They were also called as Five Pandas of Kamakhya Temple. They are:
  • i. Burha Bardeuries
  • ii. Deka Bardeuries
  • iii. Hotas
  • iv. Brahmas (Extinct)
  • v. Bidhipathaks
The Bardeuries are the main priests responsible for performing puja in the temple of Mother Goddess Kamakhya as well as in some of the subsidiary temples as per tradition. The Burha & the Deka Bardeuries were collectively referred as the “Pujaris” and originated from the same family. The Hotas have the right of offering Homa (consecrated fire). The Brahmas kept the count of Ahutis (offering made during Homa) offered during Homa, but the family is said to be extinct long time ago. The Bidhipathaks are the ones responsible for reciting the sacred Bidhis (text containing mantra) at the time of performing of the puja.
     However, all the above groups have the right to perform puja in the main Pithasthana on daily basis i.e. the “Nitya Puja” as Homas, recitation of Bidhis are done only during special occasions, such as Durga Puja.
Chandipathak They are the ones having the right of reciting the Chandi (text concerning Goddess) during Durga Puja and some other pujas.
Supakar The sevaits in charge of cooking Bhog (cooked rice) in the temples.

2. Non- Brahmin Shebaits

Shebaits Role
Athparia The role of the Athparia is very important as they are required to help the Pujaris (Priest) to perform puja by keeping the premises neat and clean.
Balikata The Balikatas are one of most important and active group in the temple. They are responsible for carrying out the execution of beheading of animals sacrificed in the temple.
Duari The Duaris are to perform the duty as a gatekeeper of the temple and they have to open the doors in the morning and close the same in the evening.
Bharalkanth These are the people in charge of bhandar or warehouse of the temple.
Bharali Bharalis are responsible keeping the accounts of the temple and keep track of all the expenditures.
Sonari Sonari means the goldsmith. Their responsibility is to repair and polish all the ornaments in the temple.
Tamuli Supplier of Tamul-Paan (Betel nut and leaf) for Naivedyas (offering of food) in the temple was their basic task.
Bhog-Paneri/Snan-Paneri They are the water supplier for the purpose of preparation of Bhog as well as for cleaning of the Pithasthan of the deity.
Chaulkara They are the ones responsible for measuring the quantity of rice for Bhog. Now, no such role is played in the temple.
Khetania They were supposed to drive away the disturbing crows (Kaur) at the time of puja and Bhog preparation.
Gayan, Bayan They have the responsibility to perform singing and dancing in the temple premises during special occasions.
Dandadhara At the time of procession of the deity during Durga Puja and other pujas, they are to hold the symbolic royal insignia called Danda.
Jagamukti They are supposed to clean the sacrificial place after the sacrifices are performed.
Dadharua They were the ones to sharpen the sacrificial knives.
Kaurkheda   etc.