Cuttack: Festive fervour gripped the Silver City here when members of the Telugu community initiated Solapua Maa Puja with devotion, Sunday.
The puja will continue till Tuesday. Hundreds of Telugus residing in Ranihata, Buxi Bazar, Pilgrim Road, Chhatra Bazar, Tinikonia Bagicha, Hatipokhari, Odia Bazar, Dewan Bazar, Sutahata, Baunshagali, Patapola, Jagannathballav, Mochisahi, Dolamundai, Seminary School Barapathara Sahi and Khapuria areas of the city are participating in the puja.
It is believed that the tradition of Solapua Maa Puja had started in the Millennium City around 200 years ago. The puja usually precedes the Dussehra festival. Members of the Telugu community observe the puja seeking the blessings of Solapua Maa deity to get rid of contagious diseases like measles and chickenpox.
Besides, worshipping of Solapua deity brings good luck to people, said a member of the Telugu community.
As per tradition, the Telugus consecrate an idol of the deity and took it in a procession in the locality. The deity is placed on a mandap, where priests recite ‘mantras’.
Traditionally, people sacrifice chickens before the Solapua Maa deity. Besides, they offer mixed curry, green gram dal, cake and other dishes to the deity.
People from the Telugu community usually wear garlands of neem leaves during the puja.
“We observe Solapua Maa puja with devotion. We start preparation for the festival at least a month in advance. Solapua Maa Puja is considered as mini Dussehra,” said K. Ramulu, a devotee. AK Dora claimed that many people from outside Odisha also come to Cuttack to witness Solapua Maa Puja.
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