Daily Archives: September 21, 2012

Conch-shaped Ganesh big hit in Sambalpur

A gigantic Ganesh idol made of 2.5 lakh sea shells is the cynosure of all eyes in the week-long puja in Sambalpur, which began here on Wednesday.

In a month-long effort, members of Natraj Club of Sambalpur’s Khetrajpur fashioned the unique idol out of sea shells procured from Puri and Rameswaram.

“It was not easy to procure such a huge quantity of sea shells. We contacted several people and finally we procured it from Puri and Rameswaram. The idol has been prepared in the shape of seven conchs,” said senior member of the club Gopal Pansari.

According to him, they never engage any artists or decorators to prepare the idol, the club members do everything themselves. In previous years, the club has made attractive Ganesh idols out of coconuts, bananas, roses and laddus.

“We have been celebrating Ganesh puja since the past 40 years. Since 1995 we have been making Ganesh idols out of unusual materials. Our idols are unique as we make them out of only one kind of material at a time. Till date we have successfully prepared Ganesh Idols with bananas, laddu, injection syringes, flowers, rudrakhyas and coconuts. Our puja is always a major crowd puller,” said Natraj Club president Sib Kumar Rathi on Thursday.

Ganesh puja is special for the people of western Orissa as it follows the famous Nuakhai festival the next day.

Sambalpur cocks a snook at bandh

The nationwide bandh against diesel price hike and FDI in retail failed to dampen the festive cheer in Sambalpur on the occasion of Nuakhai on Thursday.

Hundreds of devotees thronged to the Maa Samaleswari shrine here for the ritualistic offering of rice to the presiding deity. “The ceremony of offering rice to Maa Samaleswari commenced in the morning as per the time fixed by the pundits. All rituals were carried out as per the prevailing custom and tradition,” said Ambika Ray, a priest at the shrine. The temple trust also had made elaborate arrangements for the convenience of the large number of devotees, sources said.

People also celebrated Nuakhai in their homes by wearing new clothes and cooking special dishes. Farmers also celebrated the festival by offering puja in their The farmers also celebrated the festival with offering puja in their agricultural fields. “organized in Sambalpur by various organizations, including Odisha Sanskrutik Samaj and Samaleswari Yubak Sangh.

Tribals keep date with Nuakhai tradition

The Paharia tribals living in remote villages of Nuapada district have a unique way of celebrating Nuakhai. They offer liquor and meat to their presiding deity before having the new crop. The eldest member of a Paharia family worships the deity called the Duma and makes the offering.

“It has been our tradition to offer meat and liquor to the deity before partaking the new crop. After this ritual, all community members congregate at one place to join the feast,” said Satrughan Paharia. “Except this, all other rituals are same. It is the eldest member of the family, who gives the new crop to other members. Other communities offer only the new crop,” said Sriram Paharia.

The Paharias are concentrated in Bargaon, Bhainsadani, Katingpani and some villages inside the Sunabeda sanctuary.

Sources said the places where Paharias reside have turned into a Maoist den. The Paharias have been fighting for Primitive Tribal Group (PTG) status, which will help in their development. They would benefit under some special schemes too.