Nayagarh: The festivities of famous 12-day long ‘Lanka Podi’ festival have gripped Daspalla town in this district. Almost the entire town has been bedecked with lights and festoons, leaving the people in a festive mood.
For the festival, special rituals pertaining to weapons are performed on the premises of Lord Raghunath and Mahavir temple in the mornings. At night, artistes perform ‘Ram Leela’ in musical format on an open stage erected in front of the temple.
What attract the attention of the visitors, art connoisseurs and revelers are the wooden masks the artistes put on during the performance.
These performers observe a fast and consume only offering of the temple during the entire period.
Daspalla has been observing this festival since 1802. Like every year, the festival committee members are putting their hearts into the festival to make it more enjoyable and attractive. On the first day, the day of Ram Navmi, the fair witnesses Lord Ram’s birth. Subsequently, scenes from Ramayan like slaying of Tadaka, breaking of Lord Shiva’s bow, Lord Ram and Devi Sita’s marriage, Lord Ram’s meeting with Parshuram are enacted.
Thereafter, sequences like exile of Lord Ram, demon king Ravan kidnapping Sita and tracing of Sita are enacted. The spellbinding performances of the artistes’ captivate the audience every single time.
The tour de force of the festival is the slaying of demon king Ravan, also known as ‘Ravan Badh’ and setting Lanka on fire popularly called ‘Lanka Podi’.
On the occasion of Lanka Podi celebration, a crackers competition is held wherein different kinds of light and sound producing crackers worth lakhs are fired. To witness this last leg of the festival, lakhs of devotees from the state and outside throng the venue.
According to the committee, sequences like Shree Ram’s birth, slaying of succubus Tadaka, breaking Lord Shiva’s bow, meeting with Parshuram, Ram’s exile, Bharat milan, slaying of Birayudh, kidnapping of Sita, Shreeram Bilap, slaying of Bali, tracing Sita, construction of ‘Setu bandh’, slaying of Kumbhakarna, Nagaphasa bandhan, slaying of Ravan and Lanka Podi are scheduled to be held on April 13, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22 and April 23 respectively. The coronation of Lord Ram will be staged this April 24, informed the committee.