SAMBALPUR:With the historic Sital Sasthi Yatra scheduled for June 4 after a gap of two years, a conglomeration of over 6,000 artistes from across Odisha as well as neighbouring states is expected to perform at the cultural extravaganza.
During the week-long festival, rituals for the marriage of Lord Shiva with his consort, goddess Parvati will begin from Tuesday. The divine marriage will take place on June 4. The homecoming procession of the divine couple to their temple, which witnesses footfall of lakhs of devotees, would start on June 5 night and continue till June 6 afternoon.
Due to Covid outbreak, the festival was a low key affair for two consecutive years. However, this year, the Nandapara, Jharuapadra and Mudipara Sital Sasthi Yatra committees have drawn up a budget of more than Rs 1 crore for the festival.
The joint coordination committee (JCC) of Sital Sasthi Yatra committees and members of the organising committees informed that since the carnival will be organised in a grand way this year, people will get the opportunity to witness some of the age-old dance forms which are on the verge of extinction, like Gourbari, Kalas dance, Paika Akhada, Samparda and Ghumra.
Sources said, this year, Mudipara Sital Sasthi Committee will spend around Rs 35 lakh on the festival and nearly 2,500 artistes will take part in the procession. Similarly, Jhaduapada Committee and Nandapada Committee will also spend `35 lakh each for performance of more than 1,900 and 1,500 artistes, respectively.
Working president of Sital Sasthi Yatra JCC, Susanta Purohit said, artistes from at least 12 districts in Odisha besides from four other states have been invited this time. The committee members are filled with lot of enthusiasm as the festival is being celebrated with renewed vigour after two years.