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Harirajpur Melana Kicks Off with Vibrant Celebrations

Bhubaneswar: The much-awaited Harirajpur Melana, a traditional festival steeped in centuries-old customs and fervent devotion, has commenced with great enthusiasm in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. The four-day extravaganza sees the convergence of deities from over 100 villages, adorned in resplendent palanquins, partake in the joyous festivities and play Holi in the picturesque village of Harirajpur.

The unique ritual, which unfolds after the fifth day of Dola Purnima, draws devotees from far and wide who flock to Harirajpur to witness the grand spectacle and offer vibrant Abira (colours) to the revered deities, transforming the surroundings into a kaleidoscope of pink and red hues.

Former Harirajpur sarpanch Prasanna Kumar Maharathy emphasized the festival’s deep-rooted significance, stating, “It is an example of the unwavering devotion of the people towards the divine. The Harirajpur Melana has been a cherished tradition for generations, attracting visitors from diverse regions. This year, we are organizing the festival with the same grandeur and reverence.”

Originating in 1637, the Harirajpur Melana is renowned for its unparalleled charm and distinctive rituals. Paschimasambhu Somnath Dev, revered as Lord Shiva, extends a warm invitation to deities from neighboring villages to join the festivities at Harirajpur, culminating in a joyous celebration of Holi.

The inaugural day of the festival witnesses the grand procession, known as Vimana, wherein the idol of Paschimasambhu Somnath Dev is elegantly carried out of the Somnath temple in a lavishly adorned palanquin. The procession, illuminated by the burst of thousands of crackers, unfolds amidst the rhythmic beats of Ghodha nacha, soul-stirring sankirtan, and captivating traditional dance forms, captivating the onlookers.

Renowned as Ponchu Dolna Mahotsav, the festival pays homage to the five deities of five major Shiva temples in the region, including Nilakantheswar Dev, Budhapada Sri Balunkeswar Dev, and Sri Gatiswar Dev, who grace the occasion with their divine presence.

A popular belief surrounds the sacred pond adjacent to the Paschimasambhu Somnath temple, believed to possess miraculous healing powers. Thousands of devotees flock to the temple to take a dip in the sacred waters, seeking solace and healing from ailments.

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