Basudevpur: The culture of Bhagabata Gadi in Odisha is as old as hills. But in course of time, the Bhagabata tungis (huts where Bhagabata was read aloud amid a gathering of people) in villages, have turned out to be a thing of past.
Interestingly, people of Uchadiha in Basudevpur block have preserved this culture that holds much value for them till date. The Bhagabata Gosain has been a unifying force among villagers. Significantly, locals claimed that many people hit by various diseases have cured them of ailments owing to the blessings of the Gosain.
A road from the Block Road leads to Uchadiha, just 1 km from the block headquarters. At the entry point of the village is Bhagabata Gadi Gosain, which is treated as a shrine. “We feel proud of this peetha,” locals said.
Locals said decades ago, a woman named as Gudha Barik used to stay in the village. She was married to Bholanath Barik. A few days into their marriage, Bholanath passed away, leaving the woman in the lurch.
Then, people were always hit by water scarcity. She did a noble work and got a pond dug with her own fund 50 years ago. She had spent about Rs 15,000 then.
The pond proved very beneficial for locals, travelers and domestic animals in dry seasons by quenching their thirst.
As the pond was dug by Gudhma, the pond and the nearby areas were named after her.
After some days, a person identified as Baba Pranabandhu Das from Muliakanda of Soro area came to the pond. He proposed that the villagers set up Gadi Gosain mutt near the pond. He started worshipping the Lord. At that time, importance of Bhagabata Gadi culture bore importance in Bheda Ankuda area. Villagers like Bhagirathi Das, Ratnakar Barik, Dolagobinda Mahakud and Nishakar Mahakud helped the Babaji set up this mutt.
Baba was said to be an accomplished man with expertise in palmistry. Devotees continued to throng the shrine. Many patients were cured of their diseases with blessings of the Gadi Gosain. There were instances of even childless couples having been blessed with kids owing to the blessings of Gadi Gosain. The mutt was in the form of a thatched house.
In 2006/07, a temple was built at the place. Babaji Pranabandhu Das passed away in 1998 and since then Mataji Gudhama has been taking care of the mutt.
Bhog is offered to Gadi Gosain in morning and evening. Locals were happy that Gadi Gosain has helped the village spread its name in the area.
However, they lamented that the Gadi Gosain pond has no outlet to flush out dirty water and inlet to receive fresh water in the monsoons.
Mataji Gudhama said the government should come forward to make outlets for the pond so that people will be benefitted.