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Odisha: Auspicious Panchuka Begins As Devotees Throng To Temples

08 November 2019

Bikash Sharma

Cuttack: Devotees made a beeline for temples as auspicious Panchuka or the last five days of holy Kartika month begins on Friday.

During these five days, a large number of devotees go to Puri and visit Srimandir daily as Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Sudarshana are dressed up in five different beshas or attires each day during Panchuka. And as per the rituals, on the first day of Panchuka i.e. today, the deities are adorned with ‘Laxmi Narayan’ besha.

During this month, many devotees (especially widows) from all corners of Odisha, flock to Puri and spend the entire duration of Kartika there.

As per popular practice, the last five days of Kartika month is when people who could not follow the rites for an entire month, fulfil the customs of strict austerity in these five days.

The end of ‘Panchuka’ marks Kartika Purnima that celebrates Odisha’s maritime glory and trade relations with foreign countries in the ‘Boita bandana’ ritual. Habisyalis (widows) break their fast on that day after having observed complete austerity to receive ultimate salvation.

According to Vedas, Lord Vishnu goes to sleep on Ashadha Ekadashi and wakes up on Karthika Shukla Ekadashi. It is believed that during the Kartika month, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu come to visit Earth. Therefore during this month, everyone is at their pious-best to appease the lords.