Bhubaneswar: It is the end of the spectacular ten day festival celebrating the divine feminine power of Goddess Durga. Popularly called “Dusshera”, today marks the day when Lord Rama slayed the evil King Ravana and the Maa Durga herself defeated the demon “Mahishasur”, all symbolic of the notion of good winning over evil.
The festival celebrated with much pomp and show every year has seen a dampener due to the Coronavirus pandemic this year. Pandals and shops which usually blossom with people are empty due to government restrictions and social distancing obligations.
But the spirit for the festival still remains in the air as always. Despite the restrictions, the worship of the idols was carried out during the entire festive period without crowd in small congregations and at individual residencies by priests, following all the rituals and festivities in honour of the Goddess Durga.
The government has also made necessary arrangements for the idol immersion ceremony. In the capital city of Bhubaneswar itself, the BMC has prepared four artificial ponds near the Dayanadi and Kuakhai river each. These ponds have the capacity to hold up to 150 idol immersions which would help ease the process and help the devotees bid an appropriate farewell to the Goddess. Similarly in the city of Cuttack, 14 temporary ponds have been constructed near Kathjodi, Mahanadi bank and Debigada area.
Today also marks the occasion of Raja Rejeshwar Besha or Suna Besha of Lord Jagannath at Puri Srimandir. It is one of the rare days in a year when the deities are adorned with gold ornaments. This year due to the pandemic, the rituals were carried out without the presence of devotees in alignment with the pandemic regulations.
In addition to the usual festivities, renowned sand artist, Sudarshan Pattnaik too has created another enthralling piece of sand art symbolizing the fierce but loving Goddess.