Raja has arrived and an air of festivity pervaded all over Odisha with beginning of Raja celebrations.
Over the next three days, girls will sport new dresses, keep away from labour and enjoy the festival, which celebrates the arrival of rains.
The Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) organised Raja Mahotsav to celebrate the festival in some of its Pantha Nivas at Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Chandipur, Barakul, Paradip and Konark.
As part of the Mahotsav, a food festival is being organised where authentic Odia delicacies will be served to visitors. The specialities are ‘Poda Pitha’ along with other sweetmeats like ‘Manda’, ‘Kakara’, ‘Aarisha’, Guda pithas, Kheer and Raja paan.
Besides OTDC, several malls, retail outlets and popular restaurants are dishing out an array of Raja pithas to choose from. Working women, who do not have the time or lack the expertise to make these pithas opt for the readymade option.
At least 20 varieties of traditional ‘pithas’ are available in Bhubaneswar Big Bazaar such as poda pitha, arisa, kakara, manda, rasi laddu, chhena puli, sara puli, chhena poda, karanji, patali pitha, saru chakuli etc.
Raja paan is an integral part of this festival. Large swings, which can accommodate as many as 32 persons at a time, have been set up in various parts of Odisha.
The halls were also chock-a-block with people as the Odia film industry saw three big Raja releases – ‘Gapa Helebi Sata’ starring star couple Anubhav-Barsha, ‘Super Michhua’ starring Babushan-Jhilik and Arindam-Jhilik starrer ‘Love You Hamesha’.