Reported by Malay Ray
Rourkela, Feb 18:
The 14 day long Vedvyas fair at the famed Vedvyas temple of Rourkela located on the banks of the Brahmani River of Odisha started yesterday on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivratri.
The temple located at the confluence of Sankh-Koel carries mythological importance as it is believed that sage Vedavyas once stayed at the temple cave for meditation. Many also go on to claim that Vedavyas had scripted Mahabharata at this location.
The annual fair held here is thronged by lakhs of devotees from Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh who come to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva and enjoy shopping at the fair. The mega fair, which will continue till March 2, is celebrating its 109th anniversary this year.
More than 500 vending stalls have been put up at the fair this year featuring a wide variety of items such as toys, cosmetics, fancy items, shoes, household stuff, handicraft and various types of food items including the famous Khajla of Uttar Pradesh and Ukhuda from Champa of Chattisgarh. Many other vendors from different parts of the country have taken part in this fair as well.
While more than fifteen types of swings keep drawing the children towards them, the tattoo artists get a lot of attention from the youth. Cultural programmes for devotees are also being performed by local artists every evening.
Given the large crowd, the cops are taking no chances. Large numbers of police forces have been deployed to maintain peace. Fire brigade vehicles and officials have also been posted on the site to ensure fire safety.
“We have made all necessary arrangements for the devotees and visitors, so that they do not face any problem,” said Mihir Ray, Trustee of Vedvyas Trust Board.