Odisha's Samaleswari temple sees heavy Mahalaya rush

A large number of devotees from across the district and neighbouring areas queued up in front of the shrine from early morning to have darshan of the deity.

Published: 07th October 2021 07:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th October 2021 07:51 AM   |  A+A-

Devotees enter Samaleswari temple in queues on occasion of Mahalaya

Devotees enter Samaleswari temple in queues on occasion of Mahalaya. (Photo | Express)

By Express News Service

SAMBALPUR: Deprived of darshan since the last one year due to Covid-19 restrictions, devotees in thousands made a beeline for Samaleswari temple on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, to get a glimpse of the deity’s ‘Dhabalamukhi Besha’ on the occasion of Mahalaya.

Last year, devotees were barred from entering the shrine, which is the abode of Sambalpur’s presiding deity Maa Samaleswari, on Mahalaya in view of the prevailing  Covid situation. On the day, the temple doors opened for devotees at 6 am. A large number of devotees from across the district and neighbouring areas queued up in front of the shrine from early morning to have darshan of the deity.

Maa Samaleswari dons a complete white attire on Mahalaya unlike the rest of the year when She remains in red costume. The deity wears Dhabalamukhi Besha, also known as ‘Ganga Darshan’, for two and a half days. During the period, priests perform all the rituals in white costumes. This year, the goddess will don the Besha till 11.30 am on Friday. 

President of Samaleswari temple trust board Sanjaya Baboo said, “Due to the severity of the Covid situation last year, we did not allow devotees into the temple and live streamed rituals on our Facebook page. However, as the situation is under control now, devotees were allowed inside the shrine in strict adherence to the safety protocols.”

He further said, “Since the temple witnesses a huge crowd on Mahalaya, we held discussions with the district administration before taking the decision to allow devotees into the shrine.” Wearing masks has been made mandatory for devotees who were allowed to enter the temple from gate 3 and exit from gate 2. However, they were not allowed to bring any offerings. All the Covid guidelines were followed strictly, Baboo added.

After Mahalaya, Navaratra Puja continues for nine days in Samaleswari temple. The shrine witnesses huge footfall during these nine days as people come to light ‘Akhanda Deepa’ during Navaratri. 



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