Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: Special prayers, music of conches and 'hulahulis' marked the Maha Navami worship of goddess Durga and all roads led to pandals which were at their glittering best across Odisha.

In Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, devotees were seen thronging pandals in numbers to offer prayers to ‘Mahishasuramardini’ on the ninth day of Navratri.

After the ‘maha snana’ of the goddess, ‘shanti homa’ and the special ritual of ‘Shodasopachar puja’ were conducted in various mandaps in the morning.

At the same time, Dashami Puja (10th day ritual) of Goddess Durga was observed at various 'Shakti' shrines across the State.

In Bhubaneswar, puja pandals in Saheed Nagar, Rasulgarh, Jharapara, Station Bazaar, Nayapalli saw a noticeable increase in footfalls.

Similarly in Cuttack, the gold and silver embellishments at puja mandaps at Chowdhury Bazaar, Khannagar, College Square, Chauliaganj, Ranihat, Balu Bazaar, Sheikh Bazaar and Mangalabag drew huge number of devotees.

Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal visited various puja pandals in Cuttack while many political leaders were also seen offering worships at the mandaps in the silver city.

"This festival gives us the message that we should respect & worship women," said Ganeshi Lal.