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Sharmili Mallick

Berhampur: The month-long biennial festival of Goddess Budhi Thakurani in Berhampur of Ganjam district will be held amid strict adherence to all the Covid-19 guidelines laid down by the Centre and State governments.

A meeting in this regard was held between the representative of the Yatra Managing Committee and officials of the district administration under the chairmanship of Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) Commissioner Siddeshwar Baliram Bondar on Wednesday.

Though the Thakurani Yatra which is usually observed for 21 to 25 days has been allowed amid the Covid-19 restrictions, the district administration has directed the concerned temple authorities to curtail the period of celebration. It may be noted here that the festival was observed for 32 days in 2019.

Besides, the BeMC Commissioner has appealed the people of Ganjam not to invite their relatives, friends or well wishers from outside the district or State during the biennial festival.

"The yatra has been allowed amid strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols. We have asked the committee to limit procession of the Goddess and also cut down the period of celebration. Prasad or any kind of food distribution on the roadside will be not be allowed and cultural programmes have also been prohibited. However, another meeting will be held to finalise the detailed modalities of Covid-19 regulations during the jatra," said BeMC Commissioner after the meeting.

The devotees have also been asked not to dress up in special attires and move around the city in the night during biannual extravaganza, added Bondar.

The month-long festival marks the journey of Goddess Budhi Thakurani, presiding deity of the Silk City, to her parental abode at Desibehera street. During the festival, people move around the streets dressed as mythological characters. The festival is basically celebrated by the local weaver community, known as Devangiris.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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