BARGARH: The ‘Jugar Jatra’, a ritual of Kali puja unique to Bargarh district, was observed at Kuchipali village in Sohela block today. The Jatra was organised at Jhair village yesterday.
In order to usher in communal harmony and appease Goddess Kali, the festival is being organised in each village of the district every year.
Earlier, animals were sacrificed during Kali Puja but to do away with the practice, villagers decided to offer ‘Jugar’ to the Goddess. Jugar is a cone-shaped sweet made of mixture of fried paddy and jaggery.
“The festival was started in Jhair village 42 years ago. Taking cue from Jhair, other villages followed suit,” said 65-year-old Murali Bhoi of the village.
The preparation for the festival begins four months before when the right quality of jaggery and fried paddy are selected from which ‘Jugar’ is made.
The bigger the ‘Jugar’, the more crowd it attracts. It is normally around eight-foot high and is taken around the village amid beating of drums to the altar of Goddess Kali. After the ‘Jugar’ is offered to the Goddess, it is distributed among villagers. The inhabitants believe that offering the ‘Jugar’ and distributing it among people brings peace and prosperity in the village.
Not just people from within the district but also from neighbouring Chhattisgarh visit Bargarh to witness the ‘Jugar Jatras’.