Durga Puja: Let’s Remember Puri’s Gosani Jatra

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Puri: When Goddess Durga is being invoked everywhere for Dusherra, Puri has begun celebrating the festival with a traditional touch. The pilgrim town is observing Gosani Jatra, its own ancient form of Dusherra.

This Jatra is unique to Puri and is an indigenous cultural trait of the holy city, not found elsewhere.

The peculiarity here is huge clay idols of Mahisha-asura-mardini-Goddess Durga as the killer of the buffalo-demon are worshipped as Gosanis every year in the month of Asvina (October).

The features of the Gosani idols are also very different from those seen outside the city. Each idol has prominent eyes and coloured in yellow, green or blue.Mostly named after plants, the Goddesses worshipped during the Gosani Jatra are Kakudikhai, Janhikhai, Jani Mundia, Gelabai, Sunya Gosani, Barabati, Hazari Gosani, Karati Sahi Gosani and so on.

It is believed this form of Durga puja was initiated by the first Ganga king Choda Ganga Deva who began the ritual of shakti puja or ishana puja following instructions of a tantric guru Nitei Dhobini.The Kakudikhai idol is immersed on the Dusherra night while the other idols are immersed after first bringing them to the Jagannath temple gate.

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