BHAWANIPATNA: Festive fervour has gripped Kalahandi district which is all set celebrate the famous Chatar Yatra of Goddess Manikeswari in Bhawanipatna on Wednesday.After Sandhi Puja in Manikeswari temple on Tuesday night, the ceremonial Chatar of Goddess Manikeswari will be taken out to Jena Khal on the outskirts of the town. After performance of secret rituals early on Wednesday, the Chatar of the deity will be taken out in a procession accompanied by beats of Jena Badya, Ghumura, Nisam Ghanta and folk music.
The return journey of the Chatar to the temple is known as Chatar Yatra. During the festival, devotees release doves for fulfilment of wishes.Sources said a large number of devotes from outside the district and the State have arrived in the town to participate in the yatra. A gathering of three lakh devotees is expected during the yatra.
Meanwhile, the district administration has made elaborate security arrangements for smooth conduct of both Chatar Yatra and Maha Astami Puja of Goddess Durga.
In Bhawanipatna, 13 platoons police have been deployed. Besides, one ASP, 10 DSPs, 35 SIs, 185 home guards and 87 constables have been assigned to ensure smooth management of parking, traffic and celebrations.
Maha Saptami was celebrated in different Shakti temples and puja pandals on Tuesday. A large gathering of devotees was seen in Dakhina Kali and Tarini temples of Bhawanipatna, Manikeswari temple of Thuamul Rampur, Lankeswari and Kanaka Durga temples of Junagarh, Dokri temple of Talgud and Ambaji temple of Kesinga.
Puja mandaps at Arkabahelipada, Balaji temple, weekly market, Gosalpada and Mandarbagichapada were also crowded. Lathi Yatra was held in Dokri temple where lathis of different local deities were brought to the temple in procession.