Barely eight days left for the legendary and celebrated Dhenkanal’s Laxmi puja, which is going to begin from October 30. But this year the celebrations aren’t going to be huge, as the novel Corona virus has induced several barriers in the celebrations of festivities and Laxmi puja isn’t an exception. The history of Laxmi Puja celebrations in Dhenkanal dates back to 1923, when the celebrations were done under leaf roof pandals and petromax lights, from then onward it has evolved and today the puja has become the identity of the small town. Every year lakhs of devotees throngs the city to behold a glimpse of goddess laxmi, but this year the observance will be different and especially devotees will be prohibited to visit the pandals. The Puja for this year will only be commenced in order to save the decades old rituals and traditions.
Every year before the puja the city gears up for the preparations of the grand event, huge bamboo and cloth erected pandals, colourful lights and magnificent idols of goddess Laxmi were will be are the main attraction, but this year the scenario is quite different. The lethal Novel Corona virus has robbed the most anticipated happiness and bliss of the people of dhenkanal. As per the government statement there will no public celebrations of any festival in the state due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic.
Militi bazaar puja committee president shri Biswanath Behera said, “we will observe the puja with full compliance to the guidelines issued by the government, the puja will be observe in a peaceful manner, it will start on October 30 and the visarjan is scheduled on November 9. The bazaar puja committees have already started their idol making work, we hope everything will finish within the time.”
The laxmi puja of dhenkanal is regarded as the most famous laxmi puja in the state, around 38 puja committees of the city setups huge pandals and decorates the streets with illuminating lights. Every year the city wears a festive look for 11 days with the arrival of goddess laxmi on kumar purnima or the full moon day of Ashwin month of Hindu calendar. But this year there will be no such huge pandals or decorations. As per the guidelines of state government, the height of the idols will not be more than 4ft (1.22 m) tall, only seven karyakartas will allow to perform the rituals( along with the priests) with a covid test of all karyakartas. There shall be no visarjan ceremony or any cultural program.
Mr Anish Biswal, a locality of Dhenkanal town said, “ we are happy that the puja will be commenced, as the pandemic is going on, which is a serious threat to the mankind, we welcome to the decision taken by the government.”
Written By: Abinash Sahu
Image Source: Google