Bhubaneswar: Today is the ninth day of Navaratri or Mahanavami, the third and last day of Durga Puja. All the puja mandaps across the state are witnessing a huge gathering of devotees waiting for their turn to offer puja to ‘Mahishasuramardini’ or the ‘annihilator of buffalo demon’.
There is a belief that worshipping Goddess Durga on all nine days is equal to worshipping her on the occasion of Mahanavami. On this day, Maa Siddhidatri, Goddess Durga’s ninth form, is worshipped. Maa Siddhidatri takes away ignorance and grants knowledge to her devotees.
All the mandaps across the state are being reverberated with the sounds of traditional drums, gongs and ‘mantras’.
In Bhubaneswar, gigantic pandals resembling architectural structures of Konark sun temple, Akshardham temple, Padmavati palace, Lucknow palace, caves and Disney Land have become the major attractions of this year’s puja. That apart, the idols dazzling in gold and silver ornaments are attracting the pandal hoppers.
Like their counterparts in Cuttack, many puja pandals in the capital city have started decorating Goddess Durga with gold and silver ornaments from this year. The mandaps where the goddess is bedecked with gold and silver ornaments include Old Station Bazaar, Nayapalli, Baramunda, Chandrasekharpur and Old Bhubaneswar (Brahmana Nijog).
Some committees have put up theme pavilions and they too are proving as crowd pullers. At some puja pandals in Bhubaneswar, the organisers are seen distributing saplings, conveying the message of ‘save the environment’ as they themselves have given importance to eco friendly idols and decoration this year. Out of a total 171 puja mandaps in the capital city, 115 have used neither plastic nor polythene.
In the millennium city of Cuttack, there are 27 silver tableaus and at seven mandaps, Goddess Durga wears gold crowns.
In Rourkela, Maa Durga is being worshipped at 104 mandaps, in Balasore at 72 mandaps, in Sambalpur at 52 mandaps, in Berhampur at 44 mandaps, in Baripada at 26 mandaps, in Bhadrak at 20 mandaps, in Angul at 11 mandaps, in Jeypore at 10 mandaps, in Rayagada at six mandaps and in Dhenkanal the goddess is being worshipped at five mandaps.
Even as the twin city commissionerate police has made several arrangements for smooth traffic in the twin cities during puja, it seems the police have failed to manage the traffic. The stretch that in normal days takes barely 10 minutes to cross is taking 30 minutes to go from one end to the other these puja days.