The famous Laxmi Puja festival here which draws people from across the state and outside commenced on Wednesday in a colourful grand manner that has been associated with the district since ages.
Thirty eight bazaar committees get involved and each puts up a innovative theme pandal to compete with the other.
The grand celebrations in the district dates back to 1943 say old timers.
Platinum jubilee of Mina bazaar with chandi ( silver) backdrop with gold ornaments, chandi medha in Ganesh bazaar and Gudianal, spectacular light arrangement on either side of road, varieties of consumer products in several stalls , national level pallishree mela at Mahisapat and several other attractions drew massive crowds on the first day itself.
As per tradition of the royal family, former minister and scion of the family Mr K P Singh Deo participated in the puja rituals at the Kaibalya Bazar puja pandal.
Transport and Commerce Minister Nrushing Charan Sahoo inaugurated the National level Pallishree mela at Mahisapat mela field.
Addressing the gathering Minister Sahoo said the Pallishree mela is an opportunity for consumers and vendors to interact and sell products. This year Pallishree mela targets a sale of Rs 10 crore as against Rs 7 crore business that had been recorded last year.
Dhenkanal MLA and district planning committee chairman Saroj Kumar Samal, Zilla Parishad chairman Minati Nayak, Collector Nikhil Pawan Kalyan, DRDA project director Narottam Behera , Regional industries centre Debabrata Jena and others addressed the gathering.
The mela will continue till 31 October. During mela Lok Kala, Yuva Utsav and model youth programme will be organised, DRDA PD informed.
As many as 354 stalls have been put up at the mela.
SHGs and producers from fourteen states like Punjab, West Bengal,UP, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Bihar, Telengana,,Karnataka, New Delhi and others are taking part besides the representation from 30 districts of the state.