Bhubaneswar, Jan 24 (LocalWire) Khandagiri Mela or the sacred Kumbha Mela kicks off every year on the occasion of Magha Saptami and ends on Magha Purnima, the full moon day of the month. This year it will begin on February 1.
It is believed that ‘Sambasura,’ a demon who was suffering from leprosy, sought the blessings of ‘Surya’ for recovery.
He recovered by taking a dip at the Chandrabhaga and by walking to Khandagiri by foot.
A large numbers of saints and monks from various parts of the country gather at the Mela to perform yajna rituals in the month of Magha after taking a dip on Magha Saptami at Chandrabhaga.
It is also believed that taking holy dip at ‘patala ganga’ and ‘gupta ganga’ has the same sacred value as ‘Chandrabhaga’ holy dip. So, saint and monks from Kashi, Benaras, and Ayodhya arrive here to offer prayers to the sun God.
The nine-day festival is also known as Anant Keshari Jatra.
Khandagiri-Udayagiri is equally sacred to the Hindus as well as the Jains, and here one can get the opportunity to seek the blessings of both Shrines of Barabhuja and Jain monks.
Apart from rituals, the highlight of the fest is a variety of stalls showcasing the products of bamboo, stone craft, clothes, and other household stuff. Visitors can also relish their taste buds with a wide range of local delicacies.
Theatre lovers can enjoy performances by theatre troupes staged every day.
Editing by Sivangi Dash