People pay homage to forefathers on ‘Mahalaya’ across Odisha today

Bhubaneswar: Devotees flooded the places of religious significance across Odisha starting from the morning today as they observed ‘Mahalaya’, a day meant for offering homage to forefathers as well as pace up preparations for Dessehra.

Special prayers and rituals were held in almost all major temples across Odisha this morning by the devotees as they offered ‘Pinda’ (rice balls) to their ancestors as a part of the ‘Sharadha’ rituals.

At Sri Jagannth Temple in Puri, people offered ‘Pinda’ and performed ‘Tila Tarpan’ for their forefathers starting from the wee hours today. The ritual was held on the Baisipahacha (22 stairs to the temple).

In the state capital Bhubaneswar, people made beeline to pay obeisance to their ancestors and performed ‘Mahalaya Shradha’.

In Western Odisha devotees have started thronging the Goddess Samaleswari Temple to witness the ‘Dhabalamukhi Besha’ (white costume) of the deity, which will be held later in the day. Maa Samalei is decorated in Her ‘Bhabala Besha’ while being dressed in white. Her face is painted white during the ritual.

As per the Hindu scriptures, people who fail to perform ‘Shradha’ rituals for their ancestors on the prescribed days could do it on ‘Mahalaya’. It is also believed that forefathers come very close to earth on this day to receive the offering.

The day ‘Mahalaya’ is also considered as the end of ‘Pitru Paksha’ and marks the beginning of ‘Devi Paksha’. Durga Puja is held in the ‘Devi Paksha’. As per the religious scriptures, Goddess Durga had been invoked to kill Mahisasur on this day.

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