Maa Budi Thakurani Jatra

Budi Thakurani


About the Festival

The Maa Budi Thakurani is known as the Ista Devi (main deity) of the Silk City. The biennial yatra is held during the month of Chaitra (March /April).
Maa Budi Thakurani Jatra is the main festival of the city of Berhampur. The festival starts when the Desi behera (head of the weaver community) along with his wife dressed in traditional attire visits the temple with an invitation for the goddess to visit her paternal home.
A temporary temple – depicting her paternal home is built at the Desi behera Street to welcome the goddess. Hundreds of Vesadharies (people in disguise of mythological figures like Krishna, Hanuman etc), chariots, palanquins and processions engulf the city from time to time.
The festival is celebrated with the concept that after her marriage, the Goddess returns to her paternal home, where is she doted and pampered just like a daughter who comes to her paternal home after marriage. The jatra is marked by procession in the evening, where the Goddess is taken to various localities of the city, where the residents come to the streets to pay their obeisance, reminiscent of a daughter visiting her relatives when she comes home.
The festival is marked with festivities through out the month in the city of Berhampur, night long Jatra ( a form of popular theatre in Odisha) accompanied by music and dance fill up the night. People take to the streets and partake in the extravaganza through out the night.

Origin of the Jatra

The Dera community and Maa Budi Thakurani are closely interlinked; hence it is difficult to separate the two. Though there are no records to support the origin of this jatra, according to historian Dandapani Mohanty- the Dera community settled near the Mahuri Palace which was built between 1662-1672.
On the request of the Mahuri King Harihar Narayan Dev, the Debanga Community (the Dera’s) migrated to Ganjam between 1772 and 1782 and started the Thakurani Puja. However the socio political climate of the region forbade the inception of the magnanimous Budi Thakurani Jatra festival at such an early date.
After the murder of Harihar Narayan Dev, the Mahuri Kingdom was unstable and there is no mention of the jatra in the British records of that time. In 1865 there was the great famine which shook the foundation of Odisha.
It can be safely concluded that the Maa Budi Thakurani Jatra must have started sometime in the late 19th Century when Odisha recovered from the after effects of the terrible famine.

In And Around Berhampur

Berhampur serves as the base point to South Odisha. The spectacular eastern ghats, the pristine waters Bay of Bengal, the ethereal Chilika, magnificent temples and the beautiful culture make a symphony which is a feast to your senses.

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