Mrunal Manmay Dash

Defying the arbitrary strike by servitors of Dhabaleswar Temple in Cuttack’s Athagarh, lakhs of devotees broke open the temple door and gained their entry to avail darshan of the Lord by themselves early on Saturday morning.

Today is Bada Osha. And like every year, a sea of devotees thronged the famous Shiva shrine in Athagarh to avail darshan and take blessings of the Lord.

However, a spat between the servitors and the district administration had made the servitors lock up the temple since yesterday morning. With no headway after several rounds of talks with the administration, the servitors kept the door closed even on Bada Osha today.

However, when devotees who have been waiting since yesterday to enter the temple found the door closed early on Saturday morning too, they grew impatient and reportedly broke open the door to gain entry into the temple.

“I am happy to get the darshan of Baba Dhabaleswar in Bada Singhara besha today. He (Lord Shiva) belongs to his devotees. And nobody can stop us to see our Lord,” said a devotee.

As per reports, the servitors were angry over the alleged arbitrary auction of two cycle stands near the temple and the putting up of barricades from the suspension bridge to the temple which hindered devotees from handing over donations to the servitors.

They alleged that while there were no barricades throughout the Kartik month, the administration suddenly put up a barricade on Panchuka from the new bridge to the temple. Due to the move, devotees were no longer able to offer bhog or dakshina (donation) to the priests.

Moreover, the temple priest committee had auctioned the cycle stand while the Cuttack district administration later allegedly auctioned two more bicycle stands arbitrarily. The agitators alleged that this caused severe losses to them.

As per the latest reports, the local administration has not removed the barricades as demanded by the priests.

  • Reported by:
  • Nilakantha Dora