Uncertainty Looms Over Famous Thakurani Yatra In Odisha’s Berhampur

Berhampur: Uncertainty looms over the hosting of the famous Thakurani Yatra in Berhampur following a disagreement between the organisers and the civic authorities.

The Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) Commissioner, Sidheswar Baliram Bondore, has insisted that the biennial yatra should be restricted to 7 to 15 days due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases.

On the other hand, the yatra’s chief organiser, Patarla Durga Prasad Desibehera, said a minimum of 21 days is required to conduct the rituals.

The deadlock ensued during a meeting between the BeMC commissioner and Desibehera on Friday.

Matters came to such a pass that Desibehera even cancelled the scheduled installation of the ‘Subha Khunti’ (auspicious post) on Friday night.

This is for the first time in the history of Thakurani Yatra that the installation of Subha Khunti has been deferred.

As per tradition, the Subha Khunti, a seven-feet-tall bamboo pillar, is fixed in front of the residence of Desibehera at Desi Behera Sahi as the first step for constructing a temporary thatched house for the deity.

Buddhi Thakurani is considered to be the daughter of the Desibehera household and the deity stays with her father’s family during the entire yatra period in the temporary thatched house.

Now all eyes are on the traditional astrologer, Vasudeva Sastry Sidhanti, for installation of the Subha Khunti. Earlier, Sidhanti had said that March 19 and 22 are the two auspicious days for the ritual.

Generally, the yatra period is declared on the day of installation of Subha Khunti at a public meeting.

Desibehera, Sidhanti and others of the community are of the opinion that a minimum of 21 days are required for the rituals during Thakurani Yatra.

“If the civic administration does not allow us to conduct Thakurani Yatra for at least 21 days and Sahi Parikrama, we would rather not organise it this year and wait for next year to hold it,” Desibehera said.

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