[Watch] Mahalaya Observed In Odisha, People Offer Shradha To Forefathers

Puri/Bhubaneswar: Thousands of devotees thronged temples and water bodies across Odisha on Sunday to pay homage or ‘Shradha’ to their forefathers on the occasion of Mahalaya.

On the auspicious occasion, a large number of devotees made a beeline to the pilgrim town of Puri. The beach town was bustling with activities as people from different places gathered near the northern gate of Shree Jagannath temple to offer ‘tila tarpan’ and ‘pind daan’ to their forefathers.

Apart from the north gate of the 12th-century shrine and Mahodadhi, holy ponds like Narendra, Shwetganga, Indradyumna and Markendeya also drew large crowds as people performed ‘pind daan’ rituals near the water bodies.

In Bhubaneswar, a large number of people thronged holy ponds including Bindusagar near Lingaraj temple to perform the Mahalaya Shradha. Some people also performed the rituals in their houses.

Mahalaya marks the end of a 16-day observation of ‘Pitru Paksha’, known as Shradha. Hindus observe the occasion by remembering their ancestors and offering puja, water and food items.

Researchers Soumya Panda and Debi Prasanna Nanda said Mahalaya also marks the beginning of Devi Paksha and the beginning of Durga Puja which is celebrated with religious fervour, enthusiasm and gaiety by the people of Odisha.

The Navaratri celebration begins on Monday with the puja of Shailaputri mata, they said.

During Pitru Paksha, people follow vegetarian food and remembering, remember their forefathers and seek their blessing, they said. It emphasises the importance given to the ancestors even though they are not alive.

Mahalaya also marks the arrival of Goddess Durga on earth to save people from atrocities, and pain caused by the demon Mahishasura. Maa Durga in her 10-day long battle, killed the demon marking the victory of good over evil on Vijaya Dashami.

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