The word ‘Vesa’ (in Sanskrit as also in Oriya) means, dress. It is a common feature with all the temples that deities are dressed and decorated daily. On special occasions the deities are also dressed and decorated in suitable manner. The same is also . the case with the deities in the Puri temple. There are particular persons belonging to the temple services who know the traditional ways of dress and decoration. Flowers, tender leaves, silken fabrics, golden ornaments etc. constitute the materials with which the deities are dressed. Sandal wood paste, musk, camphor etc. are also adequately used. Out of the several dresses, mention may here be made of only a few.
Nava Youvana Bhesa
Immediately after the day of Snana Purnima the deities remain unseen for 15 days. Thereafter, on the eve of Ratha Yatra they are gorgeously dressed and pay darsan to the visitors. They put on very charming robes and look like persons at the commencement of their youth. (Nava Youvana).
Vana Bhoji Bhesa
Since Jagannatha has been identified with Krisna, incidents connected with the life of the latter have been inseparably associated with Jagannatha. Krisna used to go to the forests with his companions, who were decorating him with the tendrils of the creepers, flowers and tender leaves of different colours. Keeping this incident in view, Jagannatha is dressed in the month of Bhadra in the befitting manner.
In the story of Krisna, Kaliya, the venomous viper, living on the banks of Yamuna was a source of great danger to the people and Krisna had killed it. To remind this incident in the month of Bhadra this Bhesa takes place. The actual scene of killing the demonlike snake is dramatised in the sacred tank of Markanda.
Pralambasura Vadha Bhesa
Krisna Balarama Bhesa
Radha Damodara Bhesa
This Bhesa takes place in such years as have six days of Panchuka in the month of Kartika. On that occasion Jagannatha is dressed like Nagarjuna (a military general) on the extra day. This Bhesa is also known as the Parasurama Bhesa.