A gory ritual to invoke rain

Phulbani: Even though the heat wave condition has refused to die down in the State, especially in western pockets, people of tribal dominated Kandhamal district have organised special worship before their presiding deity ‘Goddess Banadevi’ wishing rain to bring a sigh of relief from the gruelling summer.

Besides offering fruits and flowers to the deity, they also sacrifice animals and birds as part of rituals in the religious programme. The special worship, which is an age-old tradition of Teraguda village in the district, is being organised at the seat of the goddess in the midst of Sal forest every year in the month of May.

“We the Kondh people believe that our village would experience a good rainfall if we appease Goddess Banadevi. The special Puja is also being conducted in expectation of a bumper harvest,” Bulu Kuhanra of Teraguda in Kandhamal district said.

“Our people and domestic animal would lead a healthy life and village would grow with the blessing of goddess. So, we have organised the special Puja every year here,” Bibhisan Mallik, another resident, said.

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