Heat fails to dampen Sital Sashti revelry

The scorching heat failed to deter the enthusiasm of more than one lakh people, who thronged to seep in the festive joy during the climax of Sital Sasthi Yatra, here on Sunday. This western Odisha town recorded 46.3 degree Celsius, while the minimum temperature was 30.1 degree Celsius, higher than Saturday’s 27 degree Celsius.

The revellers took part in the procession during which the divine couple go around the town in decorated chariots. The wedding ceremony of Loknath Baba of Jhaduapara, Balunkeswar Baba of Nandapara, Jageswar Baba of Modipara and Sitaleswar Baba of Badabazar got over on Saturday morning. Then the puja committees started the procession from Saturday night. This went on till Sunday afternoon. The carnival ended with the deities returning to their respective temples.

This year dancers from across the country took part in the procession. The folk artistes from Rajasthan, Punjab, Assam and Chhattisgarh added a lot of colour to the festival. There was a dash of glamour with the album and record dancers making their presence felt during the carnival.

“We invited folk dancers from different part of the country to make the festival more attractive. We have also paid special attention to the dress code of the dancers,” said Amulya Mishra, president of the joint coordination committee of the yatra.

Elaborate police arrangements had been made to curb any untoward incident. Voluntary organizations distributed water and food to people at different places to counter the heat wave. They also sprinkled water on the streets. “Although the summer heat was unbearable, we took part in the festival because of the love and affection of the people”, a dancer from Chhattisgarh said.

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