JEYPORE : Hundreds of kawdias were left stranded in Gupteswar after three landslides occurred in Dakri ghat, the main road that links the shrine, and heavy rain-induced flooded Ramgiri area in Koraput district in the last 24 hours. While devotees remained stuck, vehicular traffic also got disrupted on the road.
According to sources, over 5,000 kawdias thronged Gupteswar shrine from different parts of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh to offer sanctified water they carry from various rivers on the Shivlingam on Monday, the last one in Shravan month. However, due to heavy downpour in Ramgiri forest areas, the devotees had to face an uphill task to complete the rituals.
While hilly nullahs remained flooded, water gushed into the temple area keeping devotees waiting for hours in knee-deep water to enter the temple. Till late in the evening, the serpentine queue of devotees braved rainfall as there was no arrangement for temporary roofing around the temple. Power supply also remained cut-off at the shrine and nearby areas as trees fell on the power cables.
Making matters worse, three landslides near Dakri ghat kept devotees stuck awaiting road clearance. Vehicular traffic between Ramgiri-Gupteswar was also affected. Later, the administration advised devotees to take a different route through Siribeda to Ramgiri.
Till this report was filed, the link between Ramgiri and Gupteswar was not cleared for normal traffic flow as rains continued intermittently. Jeypore SDPO Arup Abhishek Behera informed that efforts are on to clear the pathway and restore normal traffic flow. “Continuous rain is posing a challenge to clear the road in Dakri ghat,” he added. Sources said about 7-inch rainfall was recorded in Gupteswar area in the past 24 hours.