Bhubaneswar: Thousands of Kaudias (Bol Bam devotees) made a beeline holding holy water in containers to pour on Lord Shiva as offerings at Lingaraj temple on the first Monday of sacred month of Hindu calendar Shravan (July-August) here today.
Since Byasa Purnima observed yesterday, the Shiva temples across Odisha have been transformed into hub for Kaudias (devotees who offer prayers and pour holy water on Lord Shiva especially during month of Shravan).
In the morning, the devotees after walking a long distance were standing in a long queue at the century old shrine in city to pour water brought from holy rivers in a container (made of clay or brass or copper) attached to a bamboo stick decorated with several accessories assumed to be adorable to the Lord. The special prayer and offerings paid to the Lord during holy month of Shravan are believed to bring great results for the devotees.
The women devotees were also found standing in the queue to offer prayer on the first Monday of Shravan month. Elaborate arrangements have been made by the volunteers on road sides, state highways and NHs for the Kaudias for their halting and fooding services in several places.
The crowd will continue everyday especially on Mondays during the month till Rakhi Purnima or Gamha Purnima.
Notably, offering special prayers with pouring holy water on Lord Shiva during Shravan month is called Kaudia Jatra or Bol Bam Jatra or Kanwar Yatra. As part of devotion towards Lord Shiva, the kaudia pilgrims walk long distance to their destinations chanting names of Lord Shiva following rituals at holy river beds, worship Lord Shiva by making a sand Shiva lingam and carry water from the river wearing saffron clothes. They observe the month without shaving and take only satwik aahar (complete veg food without onion and garlic).