Puri (Odisha) [India], October 25 (ANI): The holy city of Puri in Odisha, the residing place of one of the four most important religious sites in Hindu mythology-- Jagannath Temple, is also the land of festivals.
Annually, 13 religious possessions are taken out in the city, and one of them is 'Gosani Yatra', which is also another name for 'Durga Puja' in the city. But unlike most places where the festival of Durga Puja is celebrated, the faces and figures of Gosani are different. The idols of Durga are also different in Puri, as they depict Mahisamardini Durga.
During the Yatra, different types of other idols are also worshipped like Ravana lifting Kailash mountain, Nagas, and demons. Nagas are male figures who symbolises heroism in Akhada culture of Puri. They are shown to have a human head and a snake-like lower body.
Batakrushna Pratihari, a priest at Puri's Jagannath Temple told ANI that every year several clay idols of height 18 feet to 20 feet of Mahisamardini Durga, are made during this festival.
"Apart from the four Dhams of Hindu religion, there is also a temple of Goddess Bimla Devi inside the main temple, which is a 'Shakti Peeth'. We make more than 30 idols of the goddess during Navratri, and worship them for 3 days. On the day of Ekadashi, we light a big Diya, and after watching it, we conduct the immersion the idols," said Pratihari.
This year due to COVID-19 the Odisha High Court has ordered the height of idols displayed in the state should not be more than four feet. However, the Satasahi Puja Committee of Puri filed a petition in High Court, after which the court gave permission to maintain the traditional height of idols (18 to 20 feet) as it was done since 12th Century in Puri.
"The committee had told the court that as the Gosani Yatra is held as per the tradition of the Jagannath temple, the height of idol of the Goddess should remain as usual," said Srikrushna Pratihari, organizer of Gosani Durga Puja in Puri.
The court, however, made it clear that the local administration will take the decision regarding immersion of the idols of the Goddess of different puja mandaps in the pilgrim town, and asked the District Collector and SP to make separate arrangements for the immersion.
Pratihar further informed that Puja committees of Puri are conducting the rituals with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines.
On October 27, the immersions will be conducted as per the guidelines of the Puri District administration to avoid large gatherings. (ANI)