Rayagada, October 30, 2023: Amidst the serene landscape of Amarsinghguda, nestled within the Kashipur Block of Rayagada District, the annual Puja of Maa Manikeshwari commenced on the night of October 21, 2023. This cherished tradition is observed every year on the eighth day of the lunar calendar.
The rich cultural heritage and deep-rooted traditions of worship continue to be honored with unwavering devotion. Each year, devotees gather to revere the historical weapons of the past, which hold a sacred significance. On the eighth night at the stroke of midnight, these venerable artifacts are reverently retrieved from the sanctified precincts of the Maa Manikeshwari temple by the scion of the Singh dynasty, Shri Kishore Kumar Singh.
As the heir of the royal lineage, Shri Kishore Kumar Singh carries the revered weapons, while Maa Manikeshwari emerges from the temple, her conch-bell resonating melodiously. This momentous occasion draws the entire community together, uniting in spiritual celebration. The royal heir and the gathered devotees proceed to a nearby stream to cleanse themselves in a purifying ritual.
Upon returning to the temple, an assembly of worshippers, priestesses, devotees, and spiritual seekers congregates for a collective experience of devotion and reverence. Within the temple’s hallowed confines, priestesses perform traditional dances, paying homage to their ancient customs before the commencement of the puja.
Throughout the duration of this sacred festival, villagers from far and wide, numbering ten to twelve each day, arrive to offer their heartfelt worship to Maa Manikeshwari, carrying forward a tradition that has endured the test of time.