DHENKANAL: The famous Joranda Mela, also known as Magha Mela, kicked off at Mahima Gadi, the seat of Mahima sect, amidst strict Covid guidelines here on Thursday. Though there was no rush of followers, the three-day mela started with characteristic rituals by the sadhus at 3.30 am, with the cleaning of the temple premises and sprinkling of holy water.
Later, it was adorned with ornaments for public darshan. Kaupindhari and Bakaldhari sadhus lit the Jhada Deepa (sacred lamp) at 5.40 pm for welfare of mankind in their respective temples on the occasion of Baba Purnima. This is the 148th Prabhupurnima Utsav to be celebrated at the gadi. They will observe Desh Purnima on Friday.
Chants of ‘Alekh Mahima’ reverberated in the premises as sadhus paid their tributes to Mahima Gosain, founder of the sect as they offered prayer for world peace. This year, only 60 senior sanyasis have been allowed from outside after administration conducted their Covid test at the venue.
Collector Bhumesh Chandra Behera inspected the mela arrangements on Wednesday. Administration has deployed seven platoons of police in and around Joranda temple for smooth conduct of the mela, he said.
“We are conducting the mela with proper ‘niti’ and practices but no crowd is present this year except our own 500-600 devotees and sadhus due to imposition of strict Covid guidelines by the government,” said senior Bakaldhari baba Nityananda Das.