Festive time in Sonepur

Lankapodi, a festival that marks the act of Lord Hanuman's raid on the kingdom of Ravana, is observed on the newmoon night in the month of Bhadraba that fell on Sunday this year.

By Sudeep Kumar Guru
  • Published 11.09.18
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Sonepur: Lankapodi, a festival that marks the act of Lord Hanuman's raid on the kingdom of Ravana, is observed on the newmoon night in the month of Bhadraba that fell on Sunday this year.

Addressing a function organised by Lankapodi Mahotsav Committee, Sonepur collector Madhu Sudan Mishra said on Sunday: "Lankapodi has earned a special identity for Sonepur. More research is needed about the history of the festival."

People purchase Hanuman idols from the market or from Kumbharpada, the locality of potters to celebrate the festival. Potters start making them a month before the festival. Terracotta artisan Ananta Rana said he had been making Hanuman idols for several years and he learnt the art from his father.

During the night, the tail of the Hanuman idol is wrapped with some old cloth dipped in oil or kerosene and set on fire.

"Acrobats and gymnasts performed in the street. The sense of adventure and festivity was contagious," said historian Sudam Naik, who has authored several books on Sonepur history.

The idol are finally taken to the courtyard of Goddess Somalai's temple and dismantled the next morning.

Chief organiser of the Subarnapur Lankapodi Mahotsav Committee Shyama Om Prasad Mishra said several programmes were observed during Lankapodi in the evening.

"We organised competitions, including drawing Hanuman images and essay writing on Lankapodi," he said.