Famous ritual of Ganjam in Odisha namely Dandayatra

Danda yatra or namely Danda naata is originated in Ganjam district of Odisha. Danda Naata is a form of a religious festival that has theatrical and dance components. The dance is done mainly to worship the god of destruction of the Hindu mythology “Lord Shiva”. People start Danda yatra by fasting having a single meal a day. The meal only contain rice and dal. This dance consists a series of dances which are performed one after another by the male members belonging to the Scheduled Castes and other backward castes. The Participants of Danda are called Danduas and they also pray Goddess Kali.  during this 13, 18 or 21 day Danda period.

Danda begins on an auspicious day before the Chaitra Sankranti or Meru Parba with traditional worship and fasting. only male persons take part in this festival. It is believed that the present day Danda Naata is a part of the ancient Chaitra Yatra festivals being celebrated every year at Tara Tarini Shakti Peetha.

As per folk lore, during ancient period after 20 days of Danda practice the Danduas must assemble near Tara Tarini Shakti/Tantra Peetha and with some hard rituals culminate their Danda on the last day.


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