Banki: Maha Ashtami Puja is being observed amid religious fervour at the Maa Charchika Peeth here.
The shrine located atop the Ruchika hillock is full of activity. Chandi path has been conducted by the sevayats of the temple.
Early in the morning, keeping with the age-old tradition the deity was given a bath with 108 potfuls of water drawn from the Renuka river that flows adjacent to the hillock.
The main ritual of the Maha Ashtami Puja of the deity will be held in the evening today.
As it is believed that any devotee who lights an oil-filled wicker lamp and stays awake for the whole night on Maha Ashtami his/her wishes are fulfilled by Maa Charchika, therefore, devotees from places far and wide gather at the shrine on the occasion of Maha Ashtami.
Especially, devotees in large number gather in the evening to have darshan of the Mahisa-mardini vesha of the deity on Maha Ashtami.
Keeping this in mind and the Covid-19 guidelines in force in the State, the local administration has made special security arrangements for crowd control and smooth conduct of rituals at the shrine which dates back to around the 9th and 10th century CE.