SAMBALPUR: Devotees thronged Samaleswari temple to witness the Dhabalamukhi Besha of the presiding deity of undivided Sambalpur district, on the occasion of Mahalaya on Saturday.
Goddess Samaleswari remains dressed in red costume round the year except on Mahalaya when it changes to white. The ‘Dhabalamukhi Besha’, also referred to as ‘Ganga Darshan’, is followed by Navaratri which goes on for nine days with Goddess Samaleswari taking on several incarnations of Goddess Durga.
The Goddess will remain in ‘Dhabalamukhi Besha’ till Monday afternoon. Preparation for this ‘Besha’ started in the midnight and continued till 4 am following which the doors of the temple were opened at 5 am for the devotees for ‘darshan’.
On the first day of Navaratri, the Goddess adorns the ‘Shailaputri Besha’ followed by ‘Brahmacharini’ the next day.
Subsequently, the Goddess assumes the incarnations of ‘Chandraghanta’, ‘Kusumanda’, ‘Skandhamata’, ‘Katyayani’, Kalaratri’, ‘Mahagouri’ and finally ‘Raja Rajeswari Besha’.Elaborate arrangements have been made for devotees visiting the temple from across western Odisha during the period.
Similarly, adequate security arrangements have been put in place for smooth ‘darshan’ of the deity. On the other hand, hundreds of people offered ‘Tila Tarpan’ on the banks of Mahanadi river as the day marks the end of ‘Pitru Pakhya’ and obeisance is offered to forefathers.