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Sharmili Mallick

Athagarh: After a gap of long 25 years, Lord Shiva at Dhabaleswar Temple in Athagarh of Cuttack district is being adorned in the rare 'Kiratarjuna Besha' on the occasion of Bada Osha today.

The Cuttack district administration has imposed restrictions under Section 144 on the entry of devotees to the shrine in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Usually, the Lord is decorated in 'Badasinghara Besha' on Bada Osha but as Panchuka (the last five days of holy Kartik month) is being observed for six days this year, Baba Dhabaleswar will be adorned in Kiratarjuna Besha, form of Lord Parashurama.

"The sanctum sanctorum of the temple was opened at 4 AM today following which the ceremonial bathing of the Lord was performed with 108 pitchers of water and herbals. Thereafter, 'Mangala Alati' was performed and 'Khichdi' was offered to Baba Dhabaleswar," informed a servitor of Dhabaleswar Temple.

The Lord will be decorated with silver and golden ornaments which include 'trishula', 'dambaru', 'padma', 'swarna champa', 'mukut' etc.

"The besha rituals are underway by the servitors and will be concluded soon. The district administration has made elaborate arrangements to prevent the entry of devotees in the temple amid the pandemic," said another servitor of the shiva shrine.

Later, the servitors will offer Gaja Bhoga, a Linga-shaped cake made of rice powder, sugar, jaggery, moong, coconut and spices. This year, Gaja Bhog will be offered at 4 am in the early hours of Sunday.

Last year, over one lakh devotees thronged the Dhabaleswar Temple on the occasion of Bada Osha.

On the other hand, Lord Jagannath and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra at Srimandir in Puri will be dressed in 'Tribikram Besha' on the third day Panchuka. After the 'Avakash Niti' of the Lords, the siblings deities will be decorated in golden ornaments on the day.

(Edited By Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)

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