Bhubaneswar, Jan 30: The annual Khandagiri Kumbha Mela will start at the foothills of Khandagiri and Udaygiri hills in the city on February 16 and continue till February 24.
The Khandagiri Mela, also known as Magha Saptami Mela takes off every year on the occasion of Magha Saptami, the second quarter of the holy month of Magha.
The mela witnesses a large congregation of saints from across the country.
After taking a dip at Chandrabhaga in Konark on Magh Saptami, saints proceed towards Khandagiri to participate in the rituals of the lighting of the holy fire (yajna), conducted at the Khandagiri foothills.
Locals also call it Anant Keshri Yatra. In the evening, locals from Jagamara, a settlememt at the foothills of Khandagiri take out a procession of Lord Anant Keshri and walk to Ranihanspur near Udayagiri hills and return back to Naga mutt in Jagamara after a few hours.
Besides, all leading jatra parties (opera troupes) of Odisha stage their new plays at the famous fair.
The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has planned to make this year’s fair more attractive. The civic body will lay emphasis on setting up temporary bathrooms, toilets, health centres, drinking water facilities, illumination, and an information centre.
The BMC officials said this year steps would be taken to attract more traders to the mela.