From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Meru Jatra
Mains level : NA
Odisha’s Ganjam district administration has banned the Meru Jatra festival and congregations related to it at temples on the occasion of Mahavishub Sankranti.
Festive fairs in India are known for their age-old traditions and some historic background. Meru Jatra is one of such fairs. We can expect a match the pairs question on such fairs.
- In Southern Odisha, the Meru Yatra festival is celebrated as the end of the month-long Danda nata dance festival.
- Thousands of devotees gather at the Shakti Pitha shrine in the Taratarini Temple because it is one of the auspicious days during the Chaitra Yatra.
- People from all over the state eat festive chhatua and drink Bel Pana to mark the occasion.
What is Danda nata?
- Danda as the name implies, is self-inflicted pain, which the danduas (people who participate in the festival) undergo to pay their obeisance to the lord Kali.
- It is also a form of worshipping the lord Shiva and his consort Parvati.
- The origin of the festival is generally traced to 8th and 9th AD after the decadence of Buddhism in Orissa.