Puri: A record 821 types of delicacies were offered to Lord Sri Krishna on the occasion of ‘Byanjana Dwadashi’ at the Goura Vihar Mata Mutt situated in Baliapanda locality of Puri.
Byanjana Dwadashi is celebrated by adherents of Vaishnavism, the largest sect within the Hindus, which considers Vishnu and his incarnations such as Sri Krishna as the Supreme Godhead.
The festival celebrates a variety of food (Byanjana in Odia) on the 12th day (Dwadashi) of the Sukla Paksha or waxing phase of the moon in the month of Margashira (mid-December to mid-January).
Vaishnavites, especially those belonging to the Gowdiya sub-sect through this festival, commemorate an episode of the Mahabharata where Yashoda observes that her son Sri Krishna is pale and weak. She realizes that this is because of a lack of proper nutrition at a time when Sri Krishna has devoted all his energy in fighting demons.
In order to fulfill his nutritional requirements, she prepares a lot of delicacies and feeds him.
The episode was re-enacted in the Vaishnava mutts of Puri by the medieval seer and mystic Chaitanya Mahaprabhu after he reached Puri.
Tourism and Culture Minister Aswini Kumar Patra who joined the celebration was simply bowled over after savouring the mouth-watering delicacies which were offered to Lord Sri Krishna as ‘bhog’ or ‘prasad'(offerings).
This year the 821 of mouth-watering delicacies included 21 varieties of Rice-Sada Kanika, Mitha Kanika, Khechedi, Ghia Anna, etc; 18 varieties of Kheer; 126 varieties of Tarkari (curry); 161 varieties of Chutneys; 50 varieties of Saag (greens); 108 varieties of fries and different varieties of papads.
Devotees male and female prepared the delicacies on 20 chullahs or clay ovens.
The Prasad was relished by devotees who had come from different places of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
Last year, 701 delicacies were prepared at the Goura Vihar Mata Mutt on the occasion of Byanjana Dwadashi.