Himansu Shekhar Rout

Vijaya Dashami, the final day of Durga Puja was celebrated on Tuesday across Odisha with traditional rituals and fervor to mark the victory of good over evil. At puja mandaps, the immersion rituals were solemnized while curd-mixed watered rice (Dahi Pakhala) was offered to the Goddess at some places. At other places, the puja mandaps had assimilated a tinge of the West Bengal tradition of 'Sindura Khela' (vermilion applying ritual).

Devotees throng pandals

On the Vijaya Dashami, as final preparations were underway to bid adieu to Goddess Durga, unprecedented crowds of devotees thronged puja mandaps in the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar in the evening.  

Immersion rituals were performed after pancha upachar rituals including Mangala alati, Guru puja and Aparajita. The actual immersion will be carried out tomorrow.

A priest of Santa Sahi Bajrakabati Puja Committee said, “Here we have a tradition of offering a different 'prasad' to the Goddess. We offered curd- rice (Dahi Pakhala), fried green leaf (Saga Bhaja), Olati Peetha, and Rasagola.”        

A woman devotee visiting a puja mandap in Cuttack said, “Today is Vijaya Dashami –the day which marks the victory of good over evil. We all usually keep waiting for a year for the Goddess to come to the puja pandals. But we are pained when we have to bid adieu to Her. She returns to Her abode by ensuring the triumph of good over evil.”

Special Dahi Pakhala

Even some puja committees arranged tasty ‘Dahi Pakhala’ for the devotees on Vijaya Dashami. Chauliaganj Puja committee had prepared such ‘Dahi Pakhala’ for 10,000 devotes while Gopalpur Puja Committee arranged ‘Dahi Pakhala’ for 5,000 devotees. 

“On Dashami, we make a different arrangement for the devotees. We prepare Dahi Pakhala for 10,000 devotees,” said, Lingaraj Bastia of the Chauliaganj Puja Committee.

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At several places in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur, and Rourkela, some puja mandaps held ‘Sindura Khela,’ wherein women apply vermilion on the forehead of the Goddess and then apply it on one another before bidding adieu to the Goddess.

A woman devotee in Sambalpur said, “We are extremely happy that the Goddess descends on the earth every year.”
On Vijaya Dashami, people in different parts of the country also worship arms and ammunition as per the age-old tradition.

Following this tradition, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took part in the worship of arms in the presence of soldiers at Twang in Arunachal Pradesh.