The popular Chatar Yatra of deity Manikeswari of Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district concluded on Sunday with the congregation of about three lakh devotees and several goats sacrificed on the streets. Many devotees came from outside the district and neighbouring states like Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.
On Saturday after midnight, the Chatra of Manikeswari, representing the deity, was taken to Jenakhal on the outskirts of the town secretly after Sandhi Puja in the temple.
On Sunday early morning before sunrise, the Chatra started its return journey to the temple accompanied by servitors, Jena badya, Ghumura, Ghanta, and 30 different folk cultural troupes. The combined chorus of folk musical instrument created a thrilling experience among the devotees waiting since early in the morning.
The Journey of Chatra took about 8 hours to cover a 3 km distance due to heavy congregation. As a mark of the fulfilment of wishes, thousands of devotees sacrificed goats on the Chatra Yates route despite an appeal by district administration and police to desist from animal sacrifice to appease Devi. But due to age-old belief and tradition, it had no impact on devotees.
Apart from the sacrifice of goats, thousands of devotees also released pigeons as a mark of the fulfilment of wishes. After the Chatra reached the temple gate it was received by Maharaja designated scion of the royal family and after the performance of rituals was taken inside the garbha gruha by the priest.
Volunteers sprinkled water to ease the devotees, distributed drinking water and breakfast to devotees waiting since early in the morning.