SAMBALPUR:Devotees thronged Samaleswari temple in large numbers to get a glimpse of ‘Dhabalamukhi Besha’ of Goddess Samaleswari __ the presiding deity of undivided Sambalpur district on the occasion of Mahalaya on
Tuesday. Mammoth gathering was also witnessed at the temple of Goddess Patneswari here.
Goddess Samaleswari remains in red costume round the year except on the day of Mahalaya when she adorns a white costume. The ‘Dhabalamukhi Besha’, also referred to as ‘Ganga Darshan’, is followed by Navaratri which goes on for nine days when the Goddess is dressed in several incarnation of Goddess Durga.
The doors of the temple were opened at 5 am on Tuesday and the Goddess will remain in ‘Dhabalamukhi Besha’ till 2 pm on Thursday. Preparation for the besha started in the midnight and continued till 4 am before the doors of the temple were opened for ‘darshan’.
Samaleswari Temple Trust Board president Sanjay Baboo said the festivities during the month of Aswina start with Sohala Puja followed by Mahalaya and Navaratri Puja. On the first day of Navaratri Puja, the Goddess adorns ‘Shailaputri Besha’, followed by ‘Brahmacharini’ the next day. Subsequently, the Goddess assumes the incarnations of ‘Chandraghanta’, ‘Kusumanda’, ‘Skandhamata’, ‘Katyayani’, Kalaratri’, ‘Mahagouri’ and finally ‘Raja Rajeswari Besha’. Baboo said elaborate arrangements have been made for the devotees coming to the temple from across western Odisha during the period. Similarly, adequate security arrangement has also been made for smooth ‘darshan’ of the deity.
On the day, hundreds of people also offered ‘Tila Tarpan’ on the banks of the Mahanadi river as the day marks the end of ‘Pitru Pakhya’ when obeisance is offered to forefathers who are believed to be visiting earth.