Deities Arrive From Andhra Pradesh For Bada Yatra Festival In Odisha’s Malkangiri

Malkangiri: The biennial tribal festival, Bada Yatra, took off at Manymakonda in the district where the deities arrived from Poleru in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday amid COVID-19 restrictions.

The rituals began with the deities Kanamraj, Balraj and Potraj being taken from Poleru shrine on a boat crossing Sileru river to Tadaka Kunda cave where Devi Mutyuluamma remains in a hidden condition. After four Lords were given ceremonial bath, they were offered prasad.

After the deities took the bath, thousands of devotees coming from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh took the holy dip in Saleru. As per the practice, the deities started their sojourn towards Malkangiri after being offered animal sacrifice.

The deities accompanied by hundreds of devotees crossed 100 km to reach their destination at Manyamakonda. They took halts on the way to enable the devotees to offer puja. After reaching the shrine here, the first day’s puja was started.

In order to ensure safety of the devotees, security forces of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh were deployed on both sides of Saleru. Malkangiri district administration had provided two mechanised boats for the purpose. Besides, two ODRAF teams and Fire personnel were also present to prevent any untoward incident.

The Bada Yatra will be celebrated in the district headquarters from March 27 to 30. More than one lakh devotees are expected to participate in the festival during the four days.

Keeping the COVID-19 pandemic in view, the district administration has imposed night curfew in the town till March 31. Not more than 200 people are allowed to participate in the puja. Besides, public entertainment like Mela, Meena Bazaar and stalls are allowed during the period.

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