SALEPUR: Pomp and gaiety marked the annual Danda Yatra of Lord Raghunathjew, the presiding deity of Mallipur in Nischintakoili block. The Yatra took off to a colourful start on Saturday night and concluded on Sunday morning.
The entire Asureswar region was in a festive mood as more than one lakh people from all over the State thronged the place to witness the annual journey of Lord Raghunathjew. The Lord is taken to the temple of Lord Dadhibamanjew, the presiding deity of Koilo in a colourful procession. Due to lunar eclipse, the procession of Lord Raghunathjew began at 11 pm. As per the traditional rituals, the Lord was taken out of the temple in a decorated palanquin. The procession was accompanied by fireworks and traditional dancers - Suagnis - the participants of famous Asureswar Sri Ram Navami Mahotsav. It is believed that those who wish their desire to be fulfilled participate in fireworks on this day.
Another attraction of Danda Yatra, particularly favoured by the young people, is the dance of ‘Kalika’ and ‘Yogni’. The dancers sway wildly to the tune of Raga Malashree played by Dhola and Mahuri. Devotees offer ‘Pana’ to Kalika and Yogni.
The most interesting facet of the religious history of Odisha is that on this occasion, Lord Dadhibamana took the form of Sri Ram and waited for Lord Raghunath without taking his ‘niti bhoga’. After Raghunath arrived, both the deities exchanged their ‘niti bhoga’ and gifts.