Bhubaneswar: With spring approaching its fag end and people bracing up for the sultry days, the devouts have immersed themselves in Durga Puja festivity with the Basanti Puja beginning today.
Observed during Chaitra Navratri, this Durga Puja is celebrated in spring. This festival coincides with Chaitra Navratri celebrated across the northern states of India.
According to Markandeya Purana, King Surath had once lost his kingdom and had to meander about in the jungle. There, he met King Samadhi. They were both troubled over losing their kingdoms, and in search of a solution met sage Medha, who suggested them to invoke Goddess Durga and perform Basanti Durga Puja. King Surath and Samadhi gained their lost kingdoms with this puja and soon Basanti Puja was celebrated with fervour during spring.
This festival, however, is not as extravagant as Sharadiya Durga Puja observed in autumn, which is when Lord Ram invoked Goddess Durga before killing Ravana in Lanka, according to Hindu epic Ramayana.
The rituals for both are also the same except that ‘Ghat’ (earthen pot) is not used on Sashti in Basanti Puja.
Celebrated for five days, Basanti Puja is a grand affair in villages of Balasore, Bhadrak, Cuttack and Kendrapara districts of Odisha.
On the last day, people bid farewell to the goddess by offering sweets and dancing on the way to idol immersion.