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Last surviving Devadasi of Shree Jagannatha Temple passed away

Puri: 10/7/21:Parasmani Devi, the last surviving Devadasi of Shree Jagannatha Temple in Puri, passed away today afternoon. She was 87. She died reportedly due to age-related ailments.

Earlier, Parasmani Devi was singing songs at the 11th-century shrine. As per the tradition, a ‘Devadasi’ at the Shree Jagannatha Temple was singing and dancing before the Lord in the night. It is believed the Lord goes to sleep amid the melodious song and dance. A ‘Devadasi’ is married to the Lord Jagannatha and she remains unmarried throughout her life.

After attaining puberty a girl can become a ‘Devadasi’.

While one group of ‘devadasis’ – Bhitar Gayani – sang at the sanctum sanctorum, another group, Bahar Gayani, performed outside the inner temple.

Also, ‘Devadasis’ have a special role during the Ratha Jatra, the Nabakalebara and the Nanda Utsav.

It is believed, in 1955, when the Odisha government took over the administration of the temple from royal family, the ‘Devadasi’ tradition started declining.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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