Come Dusshera , it’s an ethereal experience for people of Jatni. The usually tranquil town comes alive with rituals and a host of cultural and entertainment shows. The preparations for this grand festival start a month in advance. Preparation have reached feverish pitch for ‘Maha Asthami’ on Monday. Temple domes decorated with flowers, illuminated, bhajan-sandhyas, all night dramas and mass aratis are some of the highlights of the Puja this year.
The temple of ‘Uttarayani’, the presiding deity of the town, is the centre of attraction. During all the four days of celebrations, the air fills with fragrance of incense sticks, chanting of slokas and hypnotising blowing of conch shells, ‘turi’, drums and gongs. Elaborate floral designs adorn the sanctum of Maa Durga everyday.
Thousands of devotees throng the temple to catch a glimpse of Goddess Uttarayani in different ‘beshas’ of which ‘Mahisa Mardini besha’ on Asthami and ‘Narayani besha’ on Nabami are most famous.
A slice of Bengali culture and tradition is visible in the celebrations here. Jatni town is home to nearly 2,000 Bengali families who have over the years succeeded in bringing Bengali culture to Jatni.
Besides the ‘beshas’, pandals are an attraction of the town.
This year, members of the local Bengali Durga puja club have erected a 20-foot pandal for a six-foot Durga idol decorated in typical Bengali style.
‘Sindoor khela’ is also an integral part of the celebrations on Dasami day, the concluding day of Dussehra. The town is well known for Marwari and Gujarati communities’ presence.