Festive mood picked up here for Sital Sasthi Jatra slated for June 13 to 15 with “Thala Utha” ritual performed on the auspicious day of “Akshya Trutiya”. The “Thala Utha” marks beginning of collection of funds for the Jatra with every citizen contributing as per his capacity.
Streets are abuzz with people staying outside returning to their houses and vendors doing brisk business for the Jatra which features divine marriage of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati.
The real process will begin with “Ganthal-Phitha” (untying of wedding knot) of the divine couple continuing from the previous year. A devotee generally acts as the father of Goddess Parvati. He takes the image of the bride to his house.
Another person appointed as the father of Lord Shiva goes in a procession to the newly selected parent of the bride to make formal proposal of marriage by giving a bundle of sal leaves. This is called “Patra Pendi”. After the negotiation and formal engagement, representative deities from Shiva temple extend invitation to different deities of the locality and also general public.
While the “Patra Pendi” of Nandapada was performed on Sunday evening, that of Jharuapada and Mudipada will be performed on Tuesday.
This year, Purandar Panigrahi and his wife Kalyani of Sardhapali in Dhama, Narendra Sarangi and his better half Brajeswari of Hirakud Colony and Gitanshu Nanada Mahana and his consort Archana of Jagannath Colony in Sambalpur town will don the role of in-laws for Balunkeswar Baba of Nandapada, Loknath Baba of Jharuapada and Jageswar
Baba of Mudipada respectively.
The divine marriages will also be organised for Koshleswar Baba of Budharaja temple, Gupteswar Baba of Thakurpada and Somnath Baba of Balibandha besides Sitaleswar Baba of Badbazar.