Monday, 02 January 2017 | ONTB | BALANGIR |
This year, annual Sulia Jatra would be held on January 3, the first Tuesday of the Odia Pausha month, at Khairguda in Kultapda gram panchyat under Balangiri district’s Deogan block, 20 km from here.
Notably, tribals have been worshipping Sulia Budha at the village by the side of Sulia Dangar hill for more than a hundred years ago, said Zilla Adivasi Kalyan Sangha secretary Niranjan Bisi.
According to a legend, the Sulia Puja was being observed on the top of the mountain in earlier times. Once, the priest had forgotten to bring one of the puja pots. When the priest went to bring the pot, all the deities were sitting at a meeting then.
. Since then, the festival is being worshiped at the village. Prior to the day of Sulia Jatra, the worshiping of deity is held at the mountain top in the night around 2/3am by tribals in naked body. The Puja is known as Nishi Puja and conducted by the priest and two other tribals, said Bisi. Every year, hundreds of birds and animals like hens, pigeons, goats, sheep and buffalos are sacrificed on the occasion of the Sulia Jatra. Non-tribals too offer animals after their “wishes” are fulfilled by the blessings of Sulia Budha, the presiding deity. Besides Khairguda, (popularly known as Badkhala), the puja is also conducted at other five others places, Kumria, Chantipali of Gudvella block, Mirdhapali in loisingha block, Kharlikani and Barpudgia in Balangir block. However, like every year, rationalists have been demanding stopping of animal killings at the Sulia Puja. Unfortunately, this demand has still remained unheard of.