Malkangiri: Tribal festival Badayatra is being celebrated with enthusiasm and vigour in Malkangiri district, abiding by COVID-19 restrictions.
Deities Kanamraj, Balraj and Potraj and Devi Mutyuluamma were taken to Mandia Bhhata from Kanyamajhi Bandh in a grand procession on Sunday.
Thousands of devotees from Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh took part in the procession, holding bamboo sticks.
Devotees welcomed the deities by performing puja on the way.
Several thousand people gathered roadside to watch the procession and deities. Some of them had come with goats, hens and ducks which they sacrificed before the deities.
Disaries and Gunias performed Kalisi dance to appease the Gods.
After a day-long puja at Mandia Bhhata, the deities will be taken to Tala Sahi puja mandap in the evening.
The district administration, however, did not allow Meena Bazar to be organized this time due to pandemic restrictions. Also, they have directed that the procession must end by 9 pm, when the deities will reach Simha Dwara of Tala Sahi.
Night curfew is in place till March 31, and no more than 200 people are allowed to participate in the puja.
Badayatra celebrations started in the district headquarters on March 27 and will end on March 30. Over 1 lakh devotees are expected to participate in the festival over four days.