In Odisha, Durga Puja will be celebrated from 27th September to 30th September 2017.
There may be rainfall across the state during the Durga Puja celebrations following a cyclonic formation developing over the Bay of Bengal . It is likely to intensify into a low pressure formation resulting in rains, according to the forecast of India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Durga Puja is celebrated in two different ways in Odisha. In Shakti pithas, the Durga Puja is observed with proper rituals for 10 to 16 days known as Sodasa Upachara, which starts from 7 days earlier to Mahalaya called as Mulastami and ends on Dussehra. Goddess Durga is also worshipped by devotees in different pandals across the state. The pandals are decorated with beautiful decorative.
Decked with exquisite pandals and beautiful light decorations, the Millennium City of Cuttack is all set to host the grandest festival of the season – Durga Puja.
While artisans are busy completing the welcome arches, decorators have decked up every corner of the city with impressive lighting arrangements, thereby adding sparkle to the festivity. Organisers have spent a huge amount of money on innovative light works using LED lights.
Similarly in Bhubaneswar, replicas of temples and many more heritage sites will give Durga Puja a festive glow. At Saheed Nagar, the Puja committee has erected five massive light gates themed on Sai Baba and Goddess Durga and the budget for light decorations here is Rs 4 lakh. At Jharpada and Old Station Bazaar, eight and four majestic light gates have come up. In Nayapalli and Rasulgarh, Puja committees have set up five gates each. While there are 156 small and big Durga Puja pandals in Cuttack, the number is 180 in Bhubaneswar.
The festival of Durga Puja starts with Mahalaya, the first phase of the waxing moon in Aswin. Thousands offer prayers to their ancestors at the city’s river banks or secred ponds, a ritual called Tarpana. The inauguration of the Goddess idol starts on Mahashasthi. The main puja is for three days – Mahasaptami, Mahaastami, Mahanavami. The puja rituals are long and very detailed and complicated. Three days of Mantras and Shlokas and Arati and offerings – needs an expert priest to do this kind of Puja. Because of this, the number of Pujas privately conducted by families has lessened and Durga Puja has emerged as a community festival.
Larger than life figures of Ravana, and other demons, are burnt on cold dark nights, with fireworks lighting up the sky, known as Ravan Podi on the day of Vijaya Dasami. Ravan Podi was started in the late 1980s by the Sahid Nagar Durga Puja Committee, and since when, more than 30 ravana podi have been organised by different puja pendals in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
The largest Pujas held in Odisha’s Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Balasore, Sambalpur and Rourkela cities.