Dola Jatra of Maa Nakateshwari in Malkangiri of Odisha: Watch

The Dola Jatra of Maa Nakateshwari is observed in Malkangiri of Odisha once in two years. Tribal customs and traditions are witnessed in this festival where tribal people from different spiritual lineage participate in thousands. Devotees from Malkangiri district as well as from the neighbouring States like Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana attend this festival.

This Jatra of Maa Nakateshwari witnesses a number of uniqueness.

As per the local tribal people, about three decades ago, an unusual perilous situation gripped this tribal town of Malkangiri. Many places automatically caught fire. After the tribal performed special puja only, the issue was solved.

The Jatra of Maa Nakateshwari was held recently in Malkangiri. The temple of the deity is situated in the Chidananda Sahi of the town. Hundreds of devotees from the three neighbouring States and Sishuas, Disharis, and sorcerers attended the fest.

On the first day, early in the morning the Gangabarana ritual was performed and holy water was brought from Balisagar in a Kalas Yatra. The procession moved through different areas of the town to finally reach the shrine of the deity.

In the evening, the lathis, which had been brought from more than 100 other temples after ‘Abahan’ ritual, were kept in the deity’s palanquin and the procession set out from the Mauli Maa temple. A number of traditional dances, like Koya, Singhanacha and Ranappa naat, as well as brass band and fireworks were seen in the procession. Devotees were seen marching in this procession with the sacred lathis in their hands. The procession moved through different streets of Malkangiri while devotees welcomed and worshipped the deity in front of their respective houses. Finally it returned to the temple at night.

On the second day, offering was provides in the Maa Nakateshwari temple and then the Badhipaka ritual was performed. The Siruas, Disharis and wardes from different places of Malkangiri as well as Chhattisgarh enacted the Kalishi naata. The temple committee of Maa Nakateshwari temple organised the Jatra. Ample security arrangement had also been made while Police personnel were deployed.

During the festival, a number of temporary stalls, selling small items were also operated. Also, there was arrangement of Minabazar for children and circus.

In every two years the Bada Jatra of Manyamakonda Bada Thakura is organised. In the year when this Jatra is not done, then Maa Nakateshwari Jatra takes place.

In the Maa Nakateshwari Jatra, on the full moon day in the month of Phalguna, a holy Kalas is worshipped in the Maa Mauli temple. A Hanuman flag and Goddess Jhanda are brought and kept in the Bedha of the Goddess. The village deities (Grama Devati) from 65 shrines are invited and a sacred lathi is brought from each of these temples.

The festival continues for four days. The devotees offer lia, muan, khai, jaggery, banana and other fruits to the deity. Some tribal people also offer animal sacrifice like goat, hens and ducks as their wishes are fulfilled.

During the festival some Kalishis wear specially made footwear fitted with iron nails and walk on the ground. Some of them also ride a swing that is fitted with nails. They also hit themselves with iron wire. The locals believe that the residents of Malkangiri live with happiness and peace by the blessings of Goddess Nakateshwari. It is also believed that whatever wishes are made are get fulfilled by the blessing of the Goddess.

This year the Jatra of Maa Nakateshwari was held with the participation and effort of the main priest of the temple, Krumara Pujari, Srinath Pujari and the temple managing committee.

Also read: Odisha: Inspiring tale of 2 visually impaired women from Ganjam: Watch

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