Rashmi Rekha Das

India is a land of 33 crore gods and goddesses. Thus, we are all familiar with worship of deities. Have you ever heard of a village worshiping a demon? Yes, you heard it right. Every year villagers of Chandasahi under Dhamnagar block in Bhadrak district worship Sambarasura to mark Sambadasami. Most surprisingly, Lord Krushna is also worshipped on the same pandal.

“It is believed that Sambarasura was killed here. That is why the demon king has been worshipped here since time immemorial. Earlier, villagers used to worship him for months. Now, Sambarasura puja is held only for seven days beginning with Samba Dasami. People from different parts of the State visit this place to worship the demon king,” said Nirmalya Behera, a local resident.

Another resident Rabindra Mathan maintained that “Since ancient time, we have been following this practice. The demon is worshipped with Lord Krushna on a single pandal.”

Folklore at it that Lord Krishna’s son Samba was suffering from leprosy. He worshipped demon Sambarasura at Siddheswar Pitha and got rid of the disease. It is another reason behind Sambarasura worship.

Besides, it is said that people had died of cholera in the village many years back. And villagers thought it was due to the wrath of Sambarasura. It was then they started worshipping Sambarasura to pacify him and stop the disease from spreading.

Banamali Panda, a priest, said, “It is mentioned in the Achyutananda Pothi that Sambarasura had been killed in this place by Lord Krushna’s son. That’s why Sambarasura has been worshipped here.”

Earlier Sambarasura puja was held for months with fanfare. Now the puja is held for only seven days due to a dispute among villagers, sources said.

Reported by Partha Sarathi Nayak, OTV