Talcher,18/04/19:The nine-day-long famous Maa HingulaYatra began on Thursday with a devotional power among the people of Talcher and its periphery.. The deity’s seat at Gopal Prasad near Talcher has awoken to life with thousands of devotees visited the spot on the first day. This time, Maa Hingula in the form of fire has appeared at three hundred meters away from the eastern corner field of Maa Hingula Temple.
The holy seat of the goddess is situated on the bank of the river Simhada. The deity resembles to Jwalamukhi of Assam who is worshipped as Hingula or Hingulei or Hingulaksi. It is for this reason that the presiding deity of Talcher who bears the form of fire is named Goddess Hingula.
In the Sarala Mahabharat, we find Maa Hingula as the as the manifestation of the Goddess Sarala. It is believed that one can get all wishes fulfilled by paying a visit and worshipping Goddess Hingula. It is also believed that the foods become easier to cook and delicious due to the blessings of Maa Hingula.
According to a legend, when queen Gundicha thought of introducing sixty pauties of Bhojan (daily offerings) for the Lord Jagannath and sought the permission of the Lord, the king was ordered in a dream to worship Goddess Hingula for the smooth conduct of cooking, which led the king to Bidarbha to bring the Goddess to Puri. King Nala brought the Goddess Hingula in his upper garment, in the form of fire. But a marvel took place when the King Gajapati and Nala were taking rest near the bank of the river Singhada at Gopal Prasad Gada, where the Goddess disappeared and a voice from the void announced Gopal Prasad Gada to be the holy place (Puja Peeth) of Goddess Hingula. The voice also declared that her two associates Kuteisuni and Karadei will also be worshiped here. However, the place of action of Goddess Hingula became the kitchen of Shree Mandir.
The main worship of Mother Hingula is conducted on BishnuDamankChaturdashi, which falls on the fourteenth day of the bright phase on the moon in the month of Chaitra. The festival starts from an auspicious moment on the Thursday of the dark fortnight (Krushna Pakhaya) when the chief worshipper remains on austerity away from his family in the temple. A special oven is made here and the worshipper cooks and takes his meal once in a day till the completion of the festival. He remains aloof from family affairs. Even he abstains himself from daily rite like shaving etc. A special worship is offered to the Goddess on every Thursday of the month of Chitra. An auspicious day is chosen on the basis of the star and zodiac position of the Goddess before a week of the festivals and on the same day the Goddess is worshiped on the pendal of the deity “Kuteisuni”. The worship is called “Jantal Puja”.
It is believed that the deity worshiped enters into the body of the patiara after the performance of the puja which is known as Sodasaupachara (Sixteen rituals).
The Goddess indicates the direction of her appearance by entering the body of the patiara and the tradition says that the Goddess generally appears from the eastern or the western direction of the Peetha. Dehury, the traditional worshipper of Goddess, goes to find out the place of appearance of the Goddess in the midnight of the same day. Since the Goddess is seen the form of fire and moves at many places and moves from one place to the other, Dehury worships the Goddess by chanting RsSabari Mantra’ and pacifies her by making a fire on the Charapthar (char/coal).
Every day more coal is added to the main fire of the Goddess during the time of worship by which the girth of the Goddess increases to the very big dimension on the final day of the festival. A kandha tribal fixes the appliqué presented by the king of Talcher by tying it to four bamboos. This appliqué has a height measuring sixteen hands from the place of appearance of the deity The devotees offer a lot of things like jaggery, honey, ghee, variegated silk sarees, sweets ,coconuts, jute, incense sticks and many others into her fire which are consumed by Her. In the afternoon Alam, the mobile image of the Goddess arrives at the big pendal from the temple for worship, in a procession accompanied by the devotees and the traditional instrumentalists and drum beaters, who carry umbrellas, cymbals, conches, Chowries, etc along with chanting devotional songs and Kirtans.
The festival will continue for nine days and will last on 26th of April. Meanwhile, the district administration has made necessary arrangements to ensure the festival event-free by allocating Close Circuit Amaras in crowded places to detect the miscreants and other mishaps . About five to seven lakh of devotees are expected to attend the event. Separate barricades have been made for females and males at the temple site and at the Uvastala. Traffic arrangements and parking facilities have been made in the both sides field near Karadei temple. Police in civil dresses have also been deployed. To maintain discipline and control the large crowed, securities of MCL., volunteers of Saint John Ambulance team, volunteers of Civil Defence, Scouts volunteers from nearby schools and above all Home Guards deployed under supervision of AngulDist and Talcher Police personnel. Addl. SP Santosh Kumar Mishra,SDPO,Hemant Kumar Pand and IIC Talcher Soubhagya Chandra Swain are on the spot to control and co ordinate for keeping peace in this Mela and Lok Mahotsav.
The Managing Trustee of Maa Hingula Trust Board and Sub Collector, TalcherParesh Chandra Nayak said, “All precaution measures have been taken by the puja committee. Fire men, health teams with ambulance and other volunteers have been pressed into service.
All the MCL authorities of different areas are also cooperating to mark the seventeenth Lok Mahotsav a grand success with many cultural teams of this locality and outside have been invited to perform.”
Due to Lok Sabha and Assembly election to be held here on 23rd of this month, no political interference have been seen in this yatra and Lok Mahotsav. Free food stalls, cold drinks, fruits stalls for the devotees are opened in large nos. by different organisations and trade unions to attract people to come and enjoy again and again.