JAIPUR: Over 70,000 devotees from different villages in Rasulpur block of Jajpur district turned up at Singhapur village to pay obeisance to Lord Narayan Gosain on the occasion of Maha Bishuba Sankranti on Tuesday.
Every year on this day, the idol of Lord Narayan Gosain which remains under water throughout the year, is taken out of Madhutirtha pond located near the temple.
During the three days that the deity is worshipped in the temple, all the people living in villages of Rasulpur block turn vegetarian. On the fourth day, the idol is returned to its watery abode and the deity stays there till next year.
The pond has been the abode of the Lord for past 447 years. It is believed that worshipping Lord Narayan Gosain fulfils all wishes made during the three-day festival. “Singhapur Yatra is observed as a mass festival. Relatives and friends are invited and married daughters come with their families. In order to get the blessings of the Lord, we turn vegetarian,” said Biswanath Panda, a local villager.
Legend has it that the infamous Muslim ruler Kalapahada had invaded the then Utkal province and demolished temples, shrines and idols.
After unleashing a reign of terror at Puri, he arrived at Jajpur to continue destroying Hindu shrines. To save the idol of the Lord from the invader, the then king of Madhupurgarh hid the idol in a water tank in Singhapur.
A few days later, the king had a dream in which the Lord asked him to take out the idol from the water and worship it in a nearby temple. Since then, the idol is taken out of the pond for three days and the festival is called Singhapur Yatra.
According to tradition, even to this day the descendents of Madhupurgarh king offer prayer to the Lord on the ghat of the pond. After the puja, hundreds of devotees take part in the ceremony to bring the idol out of water and worship it in the nearby temple.