50,000 animals sacrificed for Chhattar

October 29, 2012 by  
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50,000 animals sacrificed for Chhattar

50,000 animals sacrificed for Chhattar

Orissa, October 23, 2012: Like every year, faith took precedence over reasoning at Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district. Nearly 50,000 animals were sacrificed along the main thoroughfares of the town on Monday to propitiate Manikeswari during ‘Bijaya Yatra’ of the annual Chhattar festival.

This happened despite the best efforts of the administration to check animal sacrifice. The number is 20% more compared to last year, sources said.

“Animal sacrifice took place despite our best efforts. We had launched awareness campaigns a week before the festival, but that didn’t bear fruit,” said SP (Kalahandi) S Ahmed.

More than one lakh people took part in the procession of Manikeswari, the presiding deity of the area. She was taken in a procession from Jenakhal after Sandhi puja to Bhawanipatna, which is the permanent abode of the deity, amid the rhythmic beats of Jenabadya, Nisan and Ghanta (traditional musical instruments) and dancers performing ‘Ghumura’ and martial art forms.

Devotees lined up along the road for a glimpse of the goddess. “We believe that we will get rid of out vices and diseases by sacrificing animals. Every year we participate in the festival to invoke the deity’s blessings,” said Madhu Chandan, a devotee.

The municipality authorities were asked to clean the bloodied roads after the festival. “We engaged around 50 sweepers to clean the roads after the rituals. The civic body was entrusted with the cleaning work two days before the festival,” said Loknath Tiwari, executive officer of the municipality.

Every year before the start of the sacrifice ritual on Asthami, two swords belonging to the goddess are washed in the pond located behind the Bhawanipatna royal palace. These are then worshipped and brought back to the temple in a procession. Then a buffalo is sacrificed at the Budharaja or Vairab temple, a satellite shrine of the Manikeswari temple.

This is the only time the deity is worshipped during the year. Following this ritual, the Chhattar or umbrella of the goddess, along with two swords of the deity, are taken out for the procession.

– times of india

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