A month long Kartika Brata begins today.
Kartik is perhaps the holiest of all the months in the Hindu calendar characterised by many religious festivals.
This holy month is the most awaited time of the year for Odias, particularly women and widows.
As an age-old tradition a large number of widows thronged in pilgrim city Puri to serve Lord Jagannath and carry out special rituals like Habisa associated with the month. In fact, the group of devotees was also known as ‘Habisiali’.
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These women are staying in different old ashrams and Mathas of Puri to continue their Kartika Brata. After holy bath in ponds of Puri the Habisialis start their Brata by giving a small puja thali with some rice, dal and vegetable to the priest.
Puri Sri Jagannath temple is packed with the devotees in these days.
The month is also a time to immerse in the melodious Damodarashtaka by offering a lamp (Akash Deepa) to Lord Damodara. As per the tradition ghee lamps were arranged at the temple.
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Meanwhile, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has prepared a special time table for the Kartik month expecting a huge footfall of devotees.