Youths refine ‘Akhada’ skills for Hanuman Jayanti procession

Sambalpur: Preparations for the well-known ‘Akhada’ procession organised by locals on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti in Sambalpur this year are in final stages. Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated all over Odisha on Maha Visuba Sankranti.

Youths from different age groups were seen rehearsing their skills with lathi, mudgar, gada at the ‘Akhada Salas’ across the city for the procession which will be brought out at around 7 pm today.

A trainer at the Hatapada Akhada Sala said, “As per the directive of the Sambalpur district administration, skills in lathi, gada and mudgar will be displayed by the youths.”

Elaborating on the purpose for taking out the ‘Akhada’ procession, the trainer stated, “Since ancient days, the Akhada sport was being practised to keep fit and improve self-defence skills. Through this skill show, we are reiterating the ancient belief.”

“Once upon a time, I also underwent training in the Akhada skills provided by seniors and now I am helping other youths to acquire the skills, which I have learnt,” he added.

Meanwhile, devotees were seen making a beeline in front of temples in the city to pay obeisance to Lord Hanuman on the occasion of the Hanuman Jayanti.