Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Tribals at Khairaguda and Kumuria villages under Deogaon block in Balangir observed Sulia Yatra by sacrificing thousands of animals and birds at Khairgura village on Tuesday.

As per reports, thousands of people thronged Sulia Pitha last night to offer sacrifices at Bada Khala of Khairaguda and Sana Khala of Kumuria. Following a procession and ‘Nishi Puja’ ritual, animal sacrifice was performed on Tuesday morning. A large number of tribals holding traditional weapons carried out a huge procession which culminated at the festival site where the chief priest conducted rituals before performing the sacrifices.

“Thousands of birds and animals like cock, pigeon, fowl, goat, sheep and buffalo calf were sacrificed at Bada Khala and Nua Khala of Sulia Pitha,” said an eyewitness.

As per their belief, it is an act of gratitude to the deity and meant to pay back the debt after fulfilment of their wishes.

“People in the area have a lot of faith and belief in the festival. They celebrate it with a lot of devotion to fulfill their wishes,” said a local denizen.

Adequate security arrangement was made to maintain the law and order situation. As many as five platoon police forces, Home Guards and ODRAF teams have been deployed in the area to control any untoward incident.

“As per the guidelines of the Supreme Court we are making people aware and the festival is being observed with devotion and in a peaceful manner. After discussion with the puja committee, the animal which will be sacrificed is being covered up as per the guidelines,” said the local Tehsildar.

Sulia Pitha is an open place situated on a hilltop surrounded by a picturesque landscape and a large water reservoir.