Sital Sasthi yatra to begin today

Sambalpur: Sital Sasthi Yatra, which celebrates the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, will begin in Sambalpur today. The festival will begin with the Patarapendi ritual during which engagement of Lord Shiva locally known as Balunkeswara baba of Nandapada will be held.

As per the tradition, relatives of the groom along with ‘Saptarsi Pandit Mandali’ will go for a search of bride soon after which the engagement will be conducted. The father of the groom will convince the bride’s father for the marriage.

This year the procession will reach the house of Dr Ashok Nanda and Bijaylaxmi Nanda in Shasana village on the outskirts of the town who have chosen to become the parents of the bride. Priests from both the sides will conduct all the rituals chanting hymns in praise of Shiva and Parvati.

While ‘Guagunda’ ritual will be performed tomorrow, marriage of Shiva and Parvati will be held in the evening of May 22. ‘Jugala Darshan’ procession will be taken out on May 23.

Meanwhile, the district administration has made elaborate arrangements for the yatra. A total 30 platoons of force will be deployed to maintain law and order during the festival. Besides, quick reaction team will be kept on standby to tackle emergency situations.