Paralakhemundi: The doors of temples across Odisha are shut for devotees amid COVID-19 pandemic. But this shrine in southern Odisha town of Paralakhemundi in Gajapati district remains out of bounds for the believers all year through except for the 10 days of Navratri.
The Danda Maa Durga shrine opens on the first day of Navratri and closes at the end of the 10th day.
The termite mound adjacent to the Goddess is the other peculiar aspect of this shrine.
Legend has it that a snake makes several trips from this mound to the one at nearby Ramalingeswar Temple. “We consider these two as Mother shrine and Father shrine,” said the priest of the shrine.
It is also believed that the coconuts that the devotees bring here during darshan remain fresh till Navratri next year.