Nayagarh: An ancient cave where once Vaishnobadevi was worshipped was recently discovered in Melatoila hill near Bodhipatana of Narendrapur panchayat under Ranpur block in Nayagarh district.
Believing it to be the abode of Vaishnobadevi, people have already started worshiping the deity.
According to the villagers, it was a goatherd that first spotted the cave while tending goats nearby. He immediately informed the elderly villagers about his discovery.
Hearing about the cave from the goatherd, the villagers first did not believe him. However, they later decided to visit the spot to see for themselves if he was telling the truth.
Reaching the spot, they were taken aback and stood rooted to the spot after seeing the cave.
They found out that at one point Vaishnobadevi used to be worshipped inside the cave.
According to the villagers, after sunset they hear the sound of ululation (Hula huli) resonating from the cave.
As the news spread, people from nearby villagers have started to make a bee line at the cave to offer ‘puja’ to the deity.
Some elderly villagers quoting their forefathers said that years ago saints used to stay in the cave. They used to be the worshippers of Vaishnobadevi.
As time passed on, those saints left the cave due to some reasons and since then the cave had been lying abandoned and unnoticed covered with wild growth of bushes and trees.
Local people have once again started worshipping Vaishnobadevi.
The elderly villagers said there are seven rooms inside the cave. “More research is required to know more about the cave,” they observed.