Navaratri 2019: Special Puja in Cuttack Chandi Temple
Cuttack: Durga Puja is one of the most famous festivals celebrated in Odisha and particularly in Cuttack, in honour of Goddess Durga during the period of Navaratri.
Out of the four Navaratris specific to each of the four seasons (spring, winter, autumn and summer) that devotees celebrate throughout the year; the Sharadiya Navratri which falls during September-October is the most famous one.
The Cuttack Chandi Temple, an ancient temple, which is located nearby the banks of the Mahanadi River at Cuttack city is dedicated to the Goddess Chandi. As per the scriptures, Goddess Chandi has four hands, known as Pasa, Ankusha, Abhaya, Bara. She is worshipped as Maa Bhubaneswari while chanting the Bhubaneswari Mantra. Late Sri Hansa Panda started worshipping the deity with utmost “Niti, Nistha, and Shradha”.
It is famous for the annual Durga Puja and Kali Puja. The Durga Puja festivities are prominent in Maa Cuttack Chandi temple which takes place for 16 days starting from a dark fortnight of Ashwina Krishna Ashtami till Ashwina Shukla Navami and Vijayadashami. It is celebrated for 10 days, however starting from the sixth day until the ninth day, the Pandals with grand idols of Goddess Durga are open for visitors. The eleventh day, also known as Vasani Yatra or Visarjan (immersion in water) of the idol with grand celebrations and processions.
“This year, Durga Puja 2019 will begin on October 3 and will go on till October 9. The Sharadiya Navaratri begins after Mahalaya Amavasya in the month of Ashwin during Shukla Paksha. This year, Navratri celebrations will start on September 29. On the sixth day (Sasthi) of the Durga Puja, a special fish curry will be offered to Maa Chandi. As we are totally against of the sacrificial system (Bali Pratha), the Temple will observe Navaratri without any sacrifice,” said Cuttack Chandi temple Priest, Ramchandra Panda.
Speaking to Pragativadi, he said, “Sacrificial system directly tends to our soul. The impurity of our soul should be sacrificed. Maa Chandi is worshipped in various incarnations of Durga during the puja. In Cuttack, people strongly believe Maa Cuttack Chandi as ‘The Living Goddess’.
“Durga Puja is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm. We used to celebrate Navaratri in the month of September and October every year. The festivity continues in our Silver City for 10 days, at the end of which, the idols of the Goddess Durga along with other some other Gods and Goddess including Shiva, Ganesh, Saraswati and Lakshmi are immersed in Mahanadi river marking the end of the festival,” said a devotee, Laxminarayan Samantaray of Cuttack.
The last five days of Durga puja, namely, Sashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Nabami and Bijaya Dashami attract a huge crowd in Cuttack.