More than 3,000 Gaja pithas are already being readied for the upcoming ‘Bada Osha’
- Pranab Pati| servitor, Dhabaleswar temple
Cuttack: The holy month of ‘Kartika’ witnesses many festivals in the state, be it Dhanteras or Lakshmi puja or Gopashtami.
One of the most happening places during this festive season is the Dhabaleswar temple at Athagarh. Before ‘Bada Osha’, ‘Naga panchami’ is celebrated at the temple with much religious fervour. The temple witnessed a footfall of 80,000 devotees Saturday alone, temple authorities said. More than 200 shops and eateries were opened for the occasion to cater to the devotees. A huge fair was also organised where various household items as well as puja materials and toys were sold.
Interacting with Orissa POST, one of the servitors Pranab Pati said, “More than 3,000 Gaja pithas are already being readied for the upcoming ‘Bada Osha’.”
Devotees believe that on ‘Naga Panchami’ they can be cured of any disease(s) as well as from snakebites and get rid of ‘Kaal Sarpa Dosha’. Pati seconded saying, “Yes, from 4’o clock in the morning, people start making serpentine queues to perform havan and puja.”
Trinath Pallei, a shopkeeper here, said, “Naga Panchami and Bada Osha are the biggest occasions for the people here in this month of Kartika.” “This is one of the biggest events for us economically.” Pallei sells yogurt on the temple premises.
Similarly, members of Kalyani, a self-help group, also said that this is the biggest event for them. The members, who were busy catering to the huge footfall with the prasads and pancakes, have kept in mind that the revellers and devotees do not litter the place.
It may be mentioned here that ‘Bada Osha’ is the main festival at Dhabaleswar pitha. The day-long fest culminates in prayers and offerings to Lord Shiva. The prasad offered on this day is called as ‘Gaja Pitha’ and is white in colour.