Puri:25/10/23: Puri, the abode of Lord Jagannatha, otherwise known as the ‘Sri Kshetra’ or ‘Purushottama Kshetra’ is a place of several rituals, colorful jatras (festivals), and living traditions. Unlike other places, ‘Durga Puja’ one of the important colourful festivals of the Shakti pantheon is observed here as the ‘Gosani Jatra’. This Jatra is unique to Puri and is an indigenous cultural trait of the holy city, not found elsewhere.
Keeping with the Gosani Jatra tradition as many as 60 ‘Medhas’ (tableaux) congregated at the Singhadwar of the Shree Jagannath Temple extending up to Marichikote on Wednesday after which a Deva Sabha (council of Demigods) was organised.
The Gosani Jatra of Puri is one of the oldest form of celebrating Durga Puja which is still in practice. Associated with the Jagannath temple, the festival is uniquely Odia held for centuries.
Many scholars interpret the word ‘Gosani’ differently, however it is assumed that it comes from ‘Gosamani’, a word used for a woman with respect along the lines of ‘Jemamani’. The word is amply found in ancient Odia literature, starting from the Madala Panji to the 15th-century Adikabi Sarala Dasa’s Mahabharata.
Devotees and spectators gathered in large numbers to witness the Bhasani Jatra (immersion ceremony) of various forms of attractive Gosani idols of Maa Barabati, Janhikhai, Sunyagosani, Belabai, Gelabai, Naga, Sampati, Budhabudhi, Dasamundiya Ravana and others.
According to the tradition, the Gosanis come out one by one in a procession.
The police and administration had made elaborate arrangements for a smooth conduct of the much sought-after Gosani Jatra.