Maa Budhi Thakurani Temple Odisha
Probably one of the highly-revered religious sites in Berhampur, Maa Budhi Thakurani Temple is located near the Big Bazar area. The presiding deity of the temple is mainly worshipped by a weaver community - Dera. From its early days, the temple is worshipped by both low caste people and the mainstream Hindus, and thus, it provides a strong association between both the communities. However, the priests here are the barber by the caste. Apart from the religious significance, the temple is very much famous for hosting one of the biggest festivals of southern Odisha - Thakurani Yatra. This month-long celebration is observed after every two years in the Hindu month of Chaitra (April-May). As per the historians, the celebration of this beautiful starts from the day of Mahashivaratri. Organized by the hereditary head of the festival (also known as the head of Dera community), this festival not only witnesses local devotees but from neighbouring districts and cities as well.
Dressed in the traditional attire, the head of the festival along with his wife, leads the procession of devotees to the temple of Maa Budhi Thakurani. In this procession, a large-decorated chariot carries the idol of goddess Thakurani from her marital abode, which is the Budhi Maa Temple, to her parent’s home. The heads of the weaver community also make offerings at Kalika Temple. Besides, with a Changudi Puja, rituals are also performed at a temporary temple at Desibehera street to welcome the deity. After the welcome, flowers are carried from Desibehera’s house to Maa Budhi Temple. Throughout this procession, the visual of oodles of devotees walking with all zeal and ardour proffers a special feeling which can’t be explained. In this whole festival, the goddess portrays herself as a married daughter who visits her father house in every two years, and thus, her presence at paternal home is celebrated.