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Sharmili Mallick

Berhampur: The biennial festival of Goddess Budhi Thakurani in Berhampur of Ganjam district was called off by the Ganjam district administration in view of the rising Covid-19 cases in Odisha and the country.

As per reports, while the priests were preparing for installing the ‘Subha Khunti’ (auspicious post), which marks the beginning of the Budhi Thakurani Yatra yesterday night, the Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) Commissioner Siddeshwar Baliram Bondar called off the festival after having a discussion with the chief organiser of the yatra, Patarla Durga Prasad Desibehera.
In the meeting, Desibehera informed the BeMC commissioner that the time period allotted them to conduct the rituals is not sufficient.

It may be noted that Thakurani Yatra which is usually observed for 21 to 25 days but this year, the Ganjam district administration had directed the concerned yatra authorities to curtail the period of celebration due to the ongoing pandemic.

"Devotees from outside the district and State come to witness the yatra and therefore managing crowd during the procession will be a challenging task," said BeMC Commissioner Siddeshwar Baliram Bondar.

"Besides, we had earlier asked the yatra committee to curtail the days of the celebrations. However, they told us that conducting all the rituals with the given period is impossible and therefore they suggested us to call off the festival," he added.

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 Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)

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