Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Rayagada: The usual fun, frolic and religious fervour associated with Durga Puja is barely visible and only unique traditional rituals and the centuries-old religious ceremonies are being observed at the ancient shrine of Goddess Dakhina Kali in Paikapada of this district amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to sources, the rituals will continue from Pratipada till Vijaya Dashami. Meanwhile special rituals of Goddess Dakhina Kali are being performed from Astami.

However, various religious rituals and functions are something unique in this shrine. In an unusual ritual, intoxicated items are offered to the Goddess here as Prasad and many other secrets rituals are performed before Dakhina Kali, which couldn’t be revealed for the devotees.

Another uniqueness of this shrine is that lord Bishnu, Shiva and Goddess Durga are worshipped together inside the premises.

“The shrine has historical significance. It’s an ancient Shaktipitha where unique rituals are performed before Goddess Dakhina Kali. Thousands of people thronged the place during Dussehra. But this time the grand festival is celebrated in a low-key affair due to the Covid-19 norms in place,” stated main priest of the temple Kali Prasad Mishra.

(Edited by Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)