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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Servitors at the famous Cuttack Dhabaleswar temple offered ‘Gaja Bhoga’ to Lord Shiva on the bank of river Mahanandi at Athagarh late on Wednesday night.

As per reports, the ‘Bhoga’ was offered to the lord on the occasion of ‘Bada Osha’ following the completion of a series of rituals amid strict adherence to Covid-19 guidelines. 

The deity was first bathed in 108 pitchers of water followed by ‘Mangala Alati’ at around 1 am and ‘Maha Snana’, ‘Khhechudi Bhoga’ and ‘Gharshana’ rituals. The Lord was then adorned with the famous ‘Bada Singhara’ attire.

The ‘Gaja Bhoga’ made of rice, flour, coconut, jaggery and cardamom is offered to the deity every year on the occasion of ‘Bada Osha’ (biggest fasting festival) in Odisha.

However, the devotees were deprived of the darshan of Lord Dhabaleswar due to restrictions on entry of people into the shrine imposed by the district administration in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the absence of devotees, who usually throng the famous shrine in thousands on this special day, the temple and its periphery wore a deserted look.

The administration had earlier imposed Section 144 in and around the temple from Tuesday till November 19 midnight as a precautionary measure to bar people from gathering at the 16th century shrine during the festive period.
 

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