Cassian Baliarsingh

The Anla Navami festival will be celebrated with religious fervour at the famous Sakhigopal temple this year. However, devotees will not be allowed to touch the Radha Pada during the festival.

“The devotees will be allowed for Radha Pada Darshan, but they won’t be allowed to touch it,” informed Puri SP. 

Meanwhile, all security arrangements have been made ahead of the festival. At least 20 platoon police forces have been deployed to avoid any untoward incident during the festival.

On the other hand, 50 senior officials have been deployed to supervise the festival.

“The darshan of mahaprabhu will begin from early morning. Mahaprabhu will be dressed in Natabar Besha. Goddess Radha will be decorated with various embellishments. Devotees will get a chance to view her feet. But, they are not allowed to touch it,” informed a servitor.

Anla Navami, which is scheduled to be observed on November 2 this year, attracts thousands of devotees from all over Odisha to the temple of Lord Gopinath, a form of Lord Krishna, at Sakhigopal.

On the auspicious occasion, Goddess Radharani is adorned in special attire called Odiani Besha while Lord Krishna is dressed in Natabar Besha.

Goddess Radha is decorated with various embellishments all around the year and her feet always remain concealed. However, on the auspicious day of Anla Nabami, devotees get a chance to view her feet as she wears a typical Kachha costume and hence the ritual is known as Radha Pada Darshan.

When contacted, BDO Lochan Das said, “All necessary arrangements have been made for devotees starting from parking vehicles to drinking water. Senior officials had also taken stock of all the arrangements. Everything is in place for the festival.”

During Covid last year, the district administration had clamped prohibitory orders to deter public gatherings apprehending possible violation of Covid guidelines.

The administration had enforced Section 144 of the CrPC in and around the centuries-old shrine during the festival last year.

Huge number of devotees are expected to turn up this year after two years of Covid lull.


(Reported by Madhusudan Mishra)