Bada Osha: Its Significance In Odia Culture


Bhubaneswar: Odisha is a land of rich tradition and culture where one can find an amalgamation of religions, temples, shrines, and tribes with people from various parts of the country observing different rituals.

One very important festival of Odisha is the Bada Osha of the Dhabaleshwar Temple. ‘Bada’ in Odiya means ‘major’ or big, and ‘Osha’ means fasting. The Dhabaleswar Temple with the principal deity, Lord Shiva, is situated on a small island about 3.7 kms away from Cuttack, the earlier capital of Odisha. This temple of Lord Mahadeva has great importance for Odiyas, hence the festival of Bada Osha has significant relevance in their lives.

This festival is celebrated on the fourteenth of Kartika which usually falls around the end of October/ beginning of November. Here, the fast itself is of great relevance usually undertaken for the well being and interests of self or of one’s loved ones.

Just as the capital of Odisha, Bhubaneswar, is called the City of Temples because it has numerous ancient temples standing in its lanes and by-lanes, the people of this region are known to observe numerous rituals – thirteen festivals in twelve months ( ‘baro masa tero parbon’- in the local jargon).On all these occasions fasting has a place of importance, just as in all festivals of North India.

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