Vikash Sharma

Preparations have almost reached final stages for the Magha mela which will be held after a gap of almost two years at Khandagiri in the capital city of Bhubaneswar.

The ‘havan kunds' are being set up where hundreds of Naga Sadhus from different parts of the country will be dip themselves in intense ‘sadhana’ for the next few days here to appease Lord Shiva and seek blessings of the goddess.

During the entire Magha mela, from Magha Saptami to Purnima, the Naga Sadhus will invoke the deities and the entire place and Khandagiri will reverberate with chants of mantras and divine smell from the 'hawan kunds.'

Prabhuji Sankarananda said, “If Odisha government provides more facilities, then Naga Sadhus and others from different parts of the country can visit here.”

“It is all God’s wish that we have been visiting the place every year,” said a Naga sadhu.

Bhubaneswar Mayor, Sulochana Das said, “All preparations are complete. Officials from various departments, including the Commissionearate Police have inspected the location. A joint control room with all officials have also been set up.”

Similarly in Konark, Puri, devotees have started arriving to take the holy dip in Chandrabhaga on the occasion of Magha Saptmi tomorrow. The administration has made elaborate arrangements as the devotees will be participating in the annual event without any restrictions after a gap of two years.

As per the finalised rituals, the holy dip by devotees will begin at 4:41 am tomorrow. On the seventh day of the ‘Magha’ month, devotees usually take a dip in Chandrabhaga with the age-old belief that a plunge in the sacred beach would cleanse them of skin diseases and wash away their sins.

As per the legend, Shamba, son of Lord Krishna, was cured of leprosy after a holy dip in Chandrabhaga on the seventh day of the Hindu month of Magha, said Aditya Abhudutta, Mahant of Anant Abduta Mutt.

“It is now almost 20 years that I have been visiting the place on Magha Saptami as there is a belief behind the tradition,” said a devotee.

As per the tradition, the presiding deities of Konark, Lord Tribeniswara, Lord Aisaneswara and Lord Dakhineswara are taken out on a grand procession to the Tirtha Mandap at Chandrabhaga on the auspicious occasion.

(Reported by Chandan Paikaray)