Sambalpur: Keeping up with the age-old custom, ‘Navanna’ (newly harvested rice) was offered to ‘Maa Samaleswari’-the presiding deity of Sambalpur at the pre-determined ’Lagna’ (auspicious moment) today.
As per reports, ‘Navanna’ brought by the priests from their homes in the wee hours at around 4.00 AM was offered to the deity at 10.05 AM.
After ‘Navanna’ was served to ‘Maa Samaleswari’, the ‘parswa devi devatas’ (subsidiary deities) in the temple were offered the same, reports added.
Following the offering of ‘Navanna’ to the deities ‘Maha Arati’ was conducted and then the doors of the temple were opened for the devotees to have darshan, the reports said.
Devotees in large numbers are making a beeline to have darshan of the deity on this auspicious occasion.
Notably, doors of the temple remain closed for the devotees on Nuakhai in the morning unlike other days and only open after ‘Maha Arati’ is conducted.
With the offering of ‘Navanna’ to the Goddess, marking the start of the Nuakhai festival religious fervor and festivity has gripped western Odisha.