Somatirtha Purohit

With the auspicious month of Shravan beginning on July 14, the devotees from across the State have started 'Bol Bom' or 'Kaunria' yatra to offer holy water, bel leaves, flowers, and milk to Lord Shiva on first Monday. 

Every year during the auspicious month, many Shiva devotees visit Lokanath temple in Puri, Dhabaleswar temple in Athagarh, Kapilash temple in Dhenkanal, Gupteswar temple in Koraput and Harishankar temple in Bolangir.

Keeping the rush of the devotees in mind, the Puri district administration held a meeting and came up with some guidelines as part of the measures for the smooth conduct of the event. Temple servitors, senior administrative official and Baliapanda police station in-charge were present in the meeting. It was decided that the servitors will not force the devotees to pay and they will behave with them properly.

“We should be well prepared to embrace thousands of devotees and with the help of servitors and local administration we will ensure that devotees will offer prayer and return peacefully,” said Santosha Panda, priest of Lokanath temple.

“Ticket facility is there for the devotees this year. The price of each ticket will cost Rs 20,” he added. 

Briefing media, Puri sub-collector Bhabataran Sahu said, “The district administration has made elaborate arrangements like barricades for the smooth conduct of 'Bol Bom' or 'Kaunria' yatra."

"We will issue helpline number for the devotees so that they can contact in case of any issue," he added.

Every year in the month of Shravan, Kaunriyas start their journey in groups after picking up water in small pots from various rivers and walk miles barefooted before offering the water to Lord Shiva.

Thousands of devotees offer prayers to Lord Shiva and huge rush can be expected as the Yatra is going to be observed following two years of hiatus due to Covid-19 imposed restrictions.