Amid blowing of conch and chants of mantras, the Maha Navami rituals of Goddess Durga is being conducted with religious fervour in several puja pandals across Odisha on Tuesday.
Despite incessant rainfall triggered by a low pressure over the Bay of Bengal, the puja organisors ensured that the traditional rituals at pandals are conducted as per the vidhi and auspicious muhurat today.
Braving the rain, devotees in large numbers turned up at the puja pandals in the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar to offer prayers and seek blessings of the Goddess. Though the Maha Navami is being celebrated at puja mandaps, Dashami is being observed at the Shakti peethas.
The Commissionerate Police has made adequate arrangements to maintain law and order and security during the Durga Puja celebrations in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
“Goddess Durga never leaves us and we get special feel of the deity during the Navratri. We observed the early morning rituals as per tradition and it is the last day of the 16-day special puja here,” said a priest of Jhanjiri Mangala temple in Cuttack.
Elaborate arrangements were made at Haripur-Dolmundai puja committee for Kanya puja or kumara puja today. The kanya puja is a ritual carried out especially on the Ashtami and Navami of the Navaratri festival. It primarily involves the worship of nine girls, representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga.
The IMD has predicted moderate to heavy rainfall in several parts of the state under the influence of low pressure area in the next couple of days. The rainfall activities since early morning has dampened the puja festivities to some extent in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
Apart from twin cities, Brahma Kumaris arranged a live show of the nine forms of Durga for the first time at Rourkela civil township. The organisers put ladies on pandals in place of idols and worshipped them as per the rituals.
Similar programme was also organised in Balasore which was appreciated by the devotees. The organisors claimed that the initiative was undertaken to promote peace and harmony.
(Reported by Debasish Mohanty from Cuttack, Ranjit Pakala from Balasore and Pawan Tiwari from Rourkela)