Puri: When Goddess Durga is being invoked everywhere for Dusherra, Puri has begun celebrating the festival with a traditional touch. The pilgrim town is observing Gosani Jatra, its own ancient form of Dusherra.
The Goddess’ idols are usually between 15 to 20 feet high and the decorations are also unique as local crafts of sola and zari are used to deck up the idols.
During Gosani Jatra, presiding deities of each bylane or sahi of Puri, are worshipped in form of huge idols. The city witnesses 20 odd idols and each of them is surrounded with miniatures of animals, birds and various mythological characters made of clay. The features of the Gosani idols are also very different from those seen outside the city. Each idol has prominent eyes and coloured in yellow, green or blue.
Mostly named after plants, the Goddesses worshipped during the Gosani Jatra are Kakudikhai, Janhikhai, Jani Mundia, Gelabai, Sunya Gosani, Barabati, Hazari Gosani, Karati Sahi Gosani and so on.
It is believed this form of Durga puja was initiated by the first Ganga king Choda Ganga Deva who began the ritual of shakti puja or ishana puja following instructions of a tantric guru Nitei Dhobini.
The Kakudikhai idol is immersed on the Dusherra night while the other idols are immersed after first bringing them to the Jagannath temple gate.