Staff Reporter

BERHAMPUR: Preparations are on the for the return journey of goddess Budhi Thakurani to her temple from her temporary abode at Desibehera street at midnight on Monday.

It would mark the end of biennial Thakurani Jatra festival and the traditional carnival of the city. Thousands of all ages have started to come out in the costumes of mythological characters since Sunday night to enjoy the fag end of the festival.

Sunday night was the time for `Boudha Vesha' rally. A large rally of hundreds of people dressed as Buddhist monks from Bijipur area of the city marched through the roads of the city to the Desibehera street with begging bowls in their hands. They continued to chant `Buddham Sharanam Gachhami' throughout the way.

Security arrangements

Since afternoon women started to gather near the temporary temple at Desibehera Street to perform 'puja' of their decorated ghatamWomen take up this journey with ghatam on their heads for the well being of their families. But before that the ghatam has to be consecrated at the temporary temple of the deity at Desibehera Street.

Adequate security arrangements have been made for the return journey of the deity as the procession having thousands of women would pass through narrow streets of Old Berhampur. Lakhs of devotees from all parts of the state and outside have already arrived in the city to observe this return journey.

More than 17 platoons of police and 101 police officers have been deployed on the route of return journey. Special squads have been formed to keep watch on chain snatching gangs and pick pockets who are suspected to have reached the city to take advantage of the crowd during the festival.