Monday, November 18, 2013

Maa Samalei Temple Sambalpur - A Tour of Odisha's Rich Culture and Traditions

Maa Samalei or Samaleswari Maa worshipped in Samaleswai temple which is situated in the town Sambalpur the District Head Quarter of western Odisha. Sambalpur is connected from all major towns in india through rail network. The Nearest Airport is Bhubaneswar but from last year Jharsuguda may be an option as the new aiirport just started fuctioning on demand basis.

If anytime you are planning Odisha or Orissa, never forget to visit Samalei Temple. This temple is a Hindu temple which is very close to the bank of the river, you can plan Hirakud visit also while in sambalpur town.

Maa Samalei of Sambalpur
Maa Samalei Temple, Sambalpur, Odisha

Samalei Maa is beleived in top in western reason due to some mythological stories which save queen of famous king Narasingh Dev during her intense labour pain during a dark rainy night in the month of Srabana. King Balaram Dev built maa's temple in the bank of river Mahanadi under a simili tree, Mahanadi is the biggest river in Odisha. People and history told us that this famous temple built around 16th Century.

Myth also heard that previously human sacrifice offered in this temple, then it moved to buffaloes but now this has been abandoned.

Nuakhai celebrated very big for Samalei Maa where people serve arnnabhoga of rice for the new paddy. People of western odisha get together is this festival by wearing new sarees, salwar kameez, kurta, old people wear new dhoti and Gamcha.

Sambalpur region also famous for Sambalpuri and bomkai saree which is world famous. All weavers take blessing of Maa during this Nuakhai festival and some of the weavers also offer newly made handloom product by them to Maa Samalei which is the famous saktipitha in Odisha. People of Sambalpur beliieve that Maa Save the town from all bad influence and spread wealth, hapiness all over the town.

Samalei temple also known as Samalei Gudi among people of Odisha. Indian railway also have a train name for Maa as Samaleswari Express which run from Howrah to Sambalpur.

If you have ever been to western Odisha, you must heard many songs dedicated to Maa Samaleswari from the list we like "Maa go mor samalei maa". If you are interested to hear these songs you can search in google and find them, download them easily as mp3 or watch as youtube video.

Nearest Attraction:

  • Hirakud Temple
  • IKAT Art from Sonepur, Bargarh, Bomkai saree making
  • Nrusinghanath temple
  • Usha Kothi 
  • Huma Temple which is known as the Leaning Temple

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Balijatra - The festival for traders

Balijatra festival celebrated in many places of odisha, Paradip and cuttack is the best place to see it. Cuttack balijatra celebrated on the bank of the river, it is close to the famous Barabati stadium. People from all around Indian travel here to see it. The function mostly inaugurated by chief minister of odisha.
Balijatra starts on kartika purnima and goes long for a week or more according the plan made by administration. Before starting the stores here, many trader need to contact the organizer to book a stall for them. This festival is a mark where ancient Sadhav or businessman started their journey to foreign lands like java or Sumatra to sell products of odisha. In exchange they bring back gold, money with name and fame of odisha.
On kartika purnima people from all places in odisha sail a toy boat by decorating it with flower and kept a deepa. They sail it where ever they found water like ponds, canals or rivers. Small children enjoy it with other family members by singing a song "aa ka ma bai, pana gua remember our odia culture and tradition.

Cuttack balijatra

This is also known as boita bandana utsav from ancient time. In odisha history it was mentioned as sadhava or business mans start their journey, after they their beautiful wives in saree and jewellery complete the "bandana" for the well being of their husbands and business. In odia you must heard of a story called "Tapoi" in which wives of sadhavs make the life hell of the only sister of sadhavs.The boat of sadhav start its journey with the help of winds direction which is favorable during this period, which takes them to java and Sumatra.
To remember the tradition now women sail boat and wish happiness for all by wearing traditional sarees which they buy from local shops or online stores available in India. They purchase saree, dress materials, ikat saree, sambalpuri saree, salwar kameez for young girls and many more for others in family.
Balijatra ground looks like a sea of heads in the evening during the festival. Each year number of trader increasing and increasing. The jatra spread around 3 to 5 square kilo meter. We heard that you can find what ever you want to purchase or sell.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Chhath Puja Celebration in India - Dedication to Lord Sun

Chhath puja in india is a hindu festival which dedicated to lord SUN, or we call Surya. Inndian's celebrate Chhath Puja in which they thank Surya bhagban to help us keep life on this planet, where devotees also ask god to fulfill wishes of them and their family.

God Sun or Rabi or Surya considered as our lord of energy, he is every year worshiped in India by men. women and children in Chhath festival all over india where they request god for everybody's well-being, prosperity and progress in life. 

In Hindu tradition , God Sun is believed by people that he helps to cure a many diseases, like leprosy. Sun God also bless family members, friends, and others the longevity and prosperity in every field.

Chhath Puja in India - Odisha Saree Store
Lord Surya, in his Seven Horses

After shopping their needs during puja like fruits, sweets, sarees, dress, kurta's and many more people start The rituals of the festival are rigorous and are observed over a period of four days. Even in Bihar they have a leave of five days for this festival. People in this festival bath in ganga, pokra, talab or small rivers, fasting is essential during this and all are not take any drinking water during Vratta, also it includes Devotee standing in water for long time, and give prasad to the setting and rising sun by all married men and women.
This festival observed mostly in Bihar, Jharkhand, UP.

Women In Indian Saree during Chhath Puja
Women in Chhath Puja. Image Source: The Hindu
This puja always occurs on a fixed thithi which is Kartika Shukla Shashthi, this day is the 6th day of Kartika masa in Hindu Calendar. This Indian festival falls mostly in the month of October or November in Gregorian Calendar. This festival also being celebrated in (March–April), on Chaitra Shashthi thithi mostly near Holi festival which called as Chaiti Chhath puja. Kartika Shukla Shashthi is famous because it falls during festival season and winter. During this devotee buy new cloths, sarees, kurta's for men, salwar kameez for young girls, men even use towels, dhotis and baby suit for children. Local Stores and big stores introduces new offer to sale during this festival. During this observance, devotee need to fast without water for near about one and half day in a stretch.