Berhampur Thakurani Jatra Festival 2023

Thakurani Jatra, a unique cultural homecoming festival of married deities in their father's house is celebrated for month-long which shows how important is a daughter in her father's home.

“Berhampur”, the silk city, in the Ganjam District of Odisha(One of the states of India) has always attracted people not only for its food and Silk saree but also for its culture, quality gold, sea beaches, and many more things. Another reason to visit the city is to see the famous “Thakurani Jatra festival”, the main deities’ homecoming to their father’s house which is celebrated as a big carnival there. It is a bi-annual festival celebrated in the month of Chaitra(Odia Hindu calender month name) or April/May every alternate year. This year the festival is celebrated in April and will continue for 1 month. Maa Budhi Thakurani is also famous in other parts of southern Odisha.

thakurani jatra
PC: Ganjam Calling

Significance and story behind the Thakurani Jatra:

In Berhampur, the main Deity is Budhi Thakurani, and her sister is known as Sana Thakurani. Budhi means “Older “, Sana means “Younger” and Thakurani means Goddess. The 2 sisters have been worshipped as the main Deities there. 2 separate temples are built in their names. These temples are located in the Bada Bazaar or Big Bazaar. 

 Without the Thakurani temple visit, the Berhampur tour is incomplete. People there believe in worshipping the Goddesses will bring them luck and misfortune can’t touch them easily. Because they consider the Goddesses as” Maa” which means mother, whose lap is the safest place a child can feel.

The local Telugu people called the Goddesses Pedda(older) Ammavaru for Budhi Thakurani and Chinna(younger)Ammavaru(Goddess) for Sana Thakurani. The Goddesses have only faces made up of hard stones and are completely covered with red color cinnabar(Sindoor).

thakurani jatra
PC: Ganjam Calling
Story Behind the Yatra:

It is believed that the celebration of the yatra was started in the 17th century by a weaver community called Dera(Head of the weaver community Devangulu) or Dasi Behera in Odia. The community was called by the then king of Mahuri(a place in Ganjam) to start silk weaving in the Ganjam Region. Then a group of people from the community came to Ganjam and started weaving the silk saree in Berhampur City. From then Berhampuri Silk (Pattu) eventually got famous in the entire Odisha.

The Dasi Behera started the “Ghata Festival”(carrying a sacred pot on the head in a procession) and worship Maa Budhi Thakurani by offering flowers to the Devi. One day he saw a little young girl wailing on the roadside. He went to the girl and asked her about the matter. She told him that she had lost her way while traveling with her father. Then Dasi Behera welcomed the little girl to his home with a fatherly feeling. The girl agreed and to his surprise, the girl suddenly disappeared into a nearby bush there.

The next day after the incident, Dasi Behera as usual was worshipping Budhi Thakurani and offering flowers but the Goddess did not accept the flower. Then he got worried and prayed to the Goddess what was his fault, why she is not accepting the flowers and then suddenly he heard a sound telling him” how she was worshipped by her own father who welcomed her to his home yesterday and ordered him she will accept the flowers during her homecoming to his father’s house in every 2 years in a grand manner”.

From that day in Chaitra month every 2 years, Maa Thakurani Jatra is celebrated in Berhampur by the Dasi Behera family with a grand festival. A similar kind of festival is celebrated in Lanjipalli in the same city known as Lanjipalli Thakurani Jatra.

thakurani jatra
PC: Ganjam Calling

Interesting Customs Of Thakurani Jatra:

  • The Jatra starts with the invitation to two Deities. The Dasi Behera and his wife 1st go to Kalika Temple(a temple in Berhampur) to welcome the Deities to come to his father’s home. After getting approval from there the preparation started.
  • For welcoming the Deities temporary temples are built at Dasi Behera Street and a changudi puja ritual started.
  • After these rituals, flowers are carried from Dasi Behera’s house to the Budhi Thakurani and Sana Thakurani temples in a grand procession.
  • Then the 2 Deities come to their father’s house with a grand Ghata Jatra procession by villagers there and the celebration started for a month.
  • After reaching the Dasi Behera’s house, the puja rituals started by the priests who are only from the Barber castes. For 1-month Deities’ homecoming to their father’s house is celebrated with a joyful environment.
  • The important custom of the Jatra is “Besa”. People dressed with different attires of animals like Tigers, Horses, and many other festive looks attract tourists and locals to see this auspicious festival.
thakurani jatra
PC: Ganjam Calling

How Berhampur Looks During The Jatra:

The town got its colorful festive look with giant images of different goddesses and mythological figures displayed in decorated pedals called Raths, colorful lights, small food stalls, different decorated shops, and most beautifully the crowded road and many more. If you are planning to visit the city then do come during the festive season and enjoy the city to the fullest.

Places To Visit in Berhampur:

  1. Gopalpur Beach
  2. Tara Tarini Temple
  3. Aryapalli Beach
  4. Tampara Lake
  5. Pati-Sonapur Beach

How To Reach The Temple:

  • By Air: Nearest Airport is Biju Patnaik International Airport which is 171 km from Berhampur. From there hire a taxi or bus to reach Berhampur and then again hire an auto or any public transport to reach the Budhi Thakurani temple.
  • By Train: Direct trains are available to Berhampur Railway Station from major cities like Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Vizag, and Bhubaneswar. After reaching the Railway station, hire an auto or any public transport to reach the Budhi Thakurani temple.
  • By Road: You can hire a taxi or Bus from Bhubaneswar or any part of Internal Odisha to reach there.
thakurani jatra
PC: Ganjam Calling

Thank you for reading my blog. For more interesting blogs please follow my blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *