Cuttack/ Bhubaneswar, Oct 12: The auspicious festival of Durga Puja has commenced across Odisha with adherence to the Covid-19 guidelines. The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil as goddess Durga killed demon king Mahishasur.
This year Durga Puja begins on October 11 (Maha Shasthi) and will end on October 15. Today is the holy day of Maha Saptami, the seventh day of the Navratri festival.
With the fear of a third Covid-19 wave looming large, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack witness a low-key Dussehra this year too. Sasthi puja was performed with the conduct of ‘Bela Barani’ rituals in the evening at the pandals which will remain out of bounds for devotees during the festival.
Owing to the restrictions in place due to the pandemic, only seven persons including the priest and ‘karta’ are allowed in a pandal.
The Odisha government has decided to conduct Durga Puja celebrations without a congregation of devotees.
According to the guidelines, the idol size should be less than 4 feet. Puja pandals/mandaps will be covered on three sides. The 4th side will also be covered in a way not to allow any public view of the idols. There will be no darshan by public devotees.