Durga idols immersed sans boat ride

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Durga idols immersed sans boat ride

Monday, 18 October 2021 | RAJESH BEHERA | KENDRAPADA

A centuries-old tradition related to Durga immersion was broken this time thanks to the pandemic as the Durga tableaus didn't get the opportunity of boating pleasure before being immersed in river. If sources are to be believed, to pay respect to the members of the Kanika royal family, the puja organisers used to immerse four Durga tableaus in boat amidst the crocodile infested Hansua river every year by beating drums in Rajnagar area. But this time, the puja organisers failed to keep age old tradition due to the Covid restrictions. Notably, the unique immersion tradition was started by king of Kanika in which deities were immersed after a luxurious boating in the river. According to Jagannath Das, a local historian, Kanika king Bhujabala Bhanjadeo had started Durga Puja by erecting earthen idol more than 200 years back  at Rajnagar to protect area from Nature’s fury  and  epidemic.

After worshipping the deity from Mahasasthi to Dusserah, the king used to immerse the deity at Hansua river after providing a boat ride pleasure to the deity in a well decorated boat. To pay respect to the rituals of King, the Rajnagar Market-Thanapati Durga first started a similar kind of immersion. Later, the Binapani Market’s tableau - Maa Sarala Medha , Machha Market’s Ganga Mata Medha and Galidanda's Bana Durga Medha followed suit. But this year, the Covid-19  restrictions by the State Government put a spoke in carrying out the age-old tradition of immersion.

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