Dhenkanal: While the mass festival of western Odisha, ‘Nuakhai’, is going to be celebrated a day after Ganesh Puja on September 21, the world-renowned Mahima Gadi at Joranda in Dhenkanal celebrated its first ever yearly religious ritual of ‘Nuakhai’/ ‘Nabanna’ with utmost sanctity and devotion on Monday (August 29) with a huge gathering of saints and devotees of the religious order.
As per the custom and tradition, ‘nabanna’ (food prepared from newly harvested paddy) of 7 ‘handis’ (earthen pots) of new ‘chuda’ (flattened rice) were offered to Mahima Prabhu (the presiding deity of this sacred citadel) along with 7 ‘handis’ of ‘Amahania Bhog’ early morning.
This religious festival is being observed since 1917 by both the ‘koupani dhari’ (saffron cloth underwear worn) and ‘bakala dhari’ (tree bark clad) babas of the religious order.
After Mahima Prabhu is offered newly-made flattened rice, sweets, bananas, honey, etc, both the babas (saints) and devotees have it together served at a mass feasting on the pious premises. Thousands of locals also throng the holy place to witness such a unique festival and get themselves immersed in the devotional fervour.