BERHAMPUR: The biennial Thakurani Yatra is in its final stages. The month-long festival will conclude on April 29 with the return of the deity to her temple.
During her temporary stay at Desibehera Street, Sahasrakshi ghatam, representing the deity, was taken through the streets of the city to provide the residents an opportunity to worship the Goddess at their doorsteps.
During this time, family members staying outside the district visit their homes as a ritual and pay obeisance to the Goddess. Some even stay back during the entire period and participate in the proceedings.
Since devotees throng the place in large numbers despite the heat, local clubs have arranged distribution of free ‘prasad’ distribution and sweetened water to prevent sunstroke.
Meanwhile, devotees young and old, dressed up as mythological characters moving on the streets, are major attractions. Besides the festival, the devotees also visit shops for souvenirs. Stalls serving local cuisine is another major attraction of the festival.
Police have made elaborate arrangements to maintain law and order and CCTV cameras have been installed at strategic locations across Bada Bazar area to keep an eye on anti-socials. Twelve platoons of police force have been deployed to control the crowd as well as check crime.
This year, Budhi Thakurani was taken out on 25 chariots and 80 kala-kunjas have come up on different streets in the old town area. For the yatra, restriction has been imposed on heavy vehicle transport on two km radius.