Kendrapara: The five-day Dussehra festivities came to an end today with the immersion of Durga idols across the State. The immersion festival in Rajnagar of Kendrapara follows a unique tradition, unlike other parts of the State.
The immersion ceremony was completed this year as per tradition. The Gopal community carried the idols in their arms and took out a procession in the market. Later, they placed the idols on decorated boats in Hansua river.
The idols of the Goddess were taken in a boat procession in the river. The goddess took a boat ride and moved seven rounds before being immersed in the water body.
The procession on boats has been an age-old tradition.
Devotees in large numbers congregated near the river bank to bid farewell to the goddess and catch a glimpse of the divine scene.
The forest and fire services departments provided two boats for the immersion festival. Adequate security arrangements were also made for a hassle-free ceremony, said a police official.
“It is a unique tradition where goddess Durga took a boat ride in the river before being immersed. The forest department and fire services department offered two boats to the puja committees for the boat ride of the goddess. One platoon forces was deployed for the smooth management of the festival. People of Rajnagar cooperated with police and administration for the seamless immersion festival,” he added.
Boatmen accompanied by priests and some devotees drove the boat from one village to another and thousands of villagers offered ‘bhog’ to the deities.
The tradition has been continuing for a long time in the crocodile-infested river. However, there has never been any accident due to the blessings of Devi Durga, devotees said. Still, the fire brigade and the police personnel used to patrol in the river for security reasons.