Bhubaneswar: Khudurukuni Osha which is observed in Odisha on the Sundays in the month of Bhadrab (August – September) by unmarried women and girls, began today.
Also known as Khudarankuni or Khudurkuni, it is mainly observed in the coastal districts of Odisha. Goddess Maa Mangala (Durga) is worshipped on the day.
After early morning bath, unmarried women and girls collect flower and worship Goddess Durga by making small amounts of clay. In some regions, the place where the paddy is pounded in the village is cleaned and smeared with cow dung. Alpana or Jhoti designs are drawn on the floor. An image of the Goddess is installed and the pujas and rituals begin in the evening.
A set of rituals involving offerings to the Goddess Mangala spread over weeks marks Khudurukuni Osha that is steeped in the maritime trade history of the state.
It also comes with the mythology of Ta’poi, the story of a young woman who faced torture at the hands of her sisters-in-law when her brothers were away in South Eastern countries for trade. When Ta’poi worships Goddess Mangala, it is the divine intervention which sees her misery alleviated.
Unmarried girls, in groups from the same neighbourhood, gather at a commonplace, called ‘puja kothi’. The Goddess is usually worshipped in two forms – one on a painting called ‘Patti’, while the second is a clay idol, called ‘bhalukuni’. Every place of worship has at least one idol for the rituals. More are added if the girls present an idol for the fulfilment of a specific wish (manasika).
Odia girls perform Khudurkuni Osha with utmost devotion. However, Brahmin girls are barred from this, because of the evil Brahmin widow who was responsible for all of Ta’poi’s sufferings.