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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Athagarh: Prohibitory orders have been clamped on the road connecting the famous Dhabaleswar shirine at Athagarh till Karthik Purnima to prevent the congregation of devotees during the holy month of Kartika.

The step was taken by the Cuttack District administration on Monday in exercise of the powers under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) with a view to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and the related health risks that may arise on account of crowding.

“Devotees throng the shrine in large numbers during the time of ‘Panchaka’ and ‘Bada Osha’ festivals. To keep the flow of the devotees in check during this crucial phase of the pandemic, Section 144 has been imposed from Paikarapur Chhak to Mancheswar Chhak road,” said Athagarh sub-collector Ajambar Mohanty.

“Bada Osha will be observed at the shrine this year without the participation of the devotees,” he added.

Earlier, the district administration had imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 at Dhabaleswar Shrine following a preparatory meeting for the famous 'Bada Osha' festival.

Every year special rituals of Lord Dhabaleswar are performed during the holy month of Kartika at the shrine. ‘Gaja Bhoga’ is also offered to the Lord during the month. Bada Osha (fasting) in the holy month of Kartika is one of the most important traditions in Odia calendar. Thousands of devotees usually visit the shrine on the occasion.

It is worth mentioning that even as religious places across Odisha remained closed due to Covid-19 pandemic, the servitors of Dhabaleswar on October 30 had demanded the reopening of the temple in view of the holy Kartika month.

However, the district administration had then said that the decision regarding reopening of the temple will be taken at the earliest as per the Covid-19 guidelines. However, no decision has been taken on the reopening of temples in the state so far.

Similarly, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC has been in force within 200 metres of Gopinath Dev Temple at Sakhigopal area of Puri district from midnight of November 22.

The restrictions on any kind of congregation has been clamped as part of the strategy adopted by the concerned district administration to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during observance of Anla Navami and Bada Ekadasi from November 23and November 25, 2020.

Read more:

Servitors Seek Reopening Of Dhabaleswar Temple


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