Chandan Yatra, a lacklustre affair
Though the cyclone has not inflicted any major damage on Lingaraj and Ananta Basudev temples, lack of power and water supply has taken its toll on preparation of prasad and offerings.
BHUBANESWAR: It’s not just humans who are living in dark after Cyclone Fani toppled City upside down. The Gods in the Temple City are also bereft of ‘power.’ This year, the luminosity of the annual festival of Lord Lingaraj’s Chandan Yatra has gone missing.
The festival, which started from Akshaya Tritiya on Tuesday, will go on for 21 days. But as the post-Fani situation in the Capital City has emerged, it will be held for the larger part without the customary sparkle of radiant lighting all around.
On Tuesday when the presiding deity and the ‘parswa devatas’ (peripheral deities) went on their annual boat trips, the sevayats had to carry out the rituals with help of battery-charged lights and the traditional ‘mashals.’
Every year, the ‘jagati’, the submerged structure in the middle of Bindusagar Lake where the deities are taken to, is decked up with lights by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC). However, with the cyclone-ravaged Capital City left in a state of darkness, the ‘jagati’ was not spared. Power supply inside the ‘jagati’ was cut-off and the rituals were carried out using earthen lamps.
“Though all the ‘nitis’ are being performed as per scriptures, the timings are affected due to lack of power and communication. It is taking extra time for sevayats to carry out the rituals in dark, using low-intensity lights or earthen lamps,” said an official of the Lingaraj Temple Administration.
BMC had installed an inflatable gas light on the bank of Bindusagar to keep the area a bit illuminated.
The civic body had also cleared the path used for taking the deities to Bindusagar.
Though the cyclone has not inflicted any major damage on Lingaraj and Ananta Basudev temples, lack of power and water supply has taken its toll on preparation of prasad and offerings. “Previously, we were preparing for around 20,000 people every day. Since Fani, we are cooking for only 1,000 persons,” said Somu Mohapatra, a sevayat at Ananta Basudev temple.
The flag post atop Lingaraj Temple was tilted by the strong Fani winds. Sources said it was restored to its original position after four days.