Chaiti Jatra of Goddess Lankeswari held in Odisha’s Subarnapur: Watch

By: Himanshu Guru

The famous Chaiti Jatra of Goddess Lankeswari was observed recently in Subarnapur district of Odisha amid participation of devotees. The temple of the Goddess is located on an islet inside River Mahanadi where the Jatra was organised. Goddess Lankeswari is the prime deity of the Kaibarta community. They take important part in the Chaiti Jatra of the Goddess.

Subernapur district has ample cultural traditions and heritage which make the place unique. The Chaiti Jatra of Goddess Lankeswari bears some specialty. The festival is observed in the temple premises of the Goddess while the temple is situated on a dry land inside River Mahanandi.

This is one of the famous ancient temples of Subarnapur. Initially, the Goddess was worshipped on the stony surface and later a temple was constructed there.

In the ancient time, there was no bridge on River Mahanadi in Sonepur. Then, traders were ferrying through the water of Mahanadi to travel far places in the water route to sell their products. When the traders were passing by the side of this River island, they were paying their homage to the Goddess who was set in the stony terrain surrounded by deep water of the Mahanadi.

Also, when the ferry boats were paving their ways through the deep water of Mahanadi by the side of this islet, they were paying homage to the Goddess. It is believed that due to the blessings of the Goddess no boat met any accident here.

However, after bridges were constructed on the River Mahanadi, now no public ferry boat service is required there. However, the devotion towards the Goddess is unhindered. Devotees visit this temple across the year.

The Chiti Jatra of Goddess Lankeswari is observed on the third Tuesday of the Chaitra month in every alternate year. This year, the jatra was celebrated on last Tuesday.

In the morning, the Kaibartas went to Goddess Lankeswari temple along with music, priests and Baruas to invite the Goddess to the festival. It was followed by a special worship.

Following observation of some rituals, it was believed that the Goddess incarnated in the body of two living human beings. The living Gods were then ceremonially brought to Sonepur town on two boats. They were then roamed around in the town accompanied with devotees and music and the holy umbrellas of the Goddess.

During the Nagar Paribhraman it was seen that the living Gods were offered worship in front of every households. Later, the Goddess again returned to her abode in a procession.

After the Covid 19 related restrictions were lifted up to some extent, this time the jatra was observed. It is believed that the festival is done for the wellbeing of everybody.

Report: Seshadev Barik, Sonepur

Also read: Famous Danda Nacha of Odisha’s Ganjam district: Watch

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