Bheting, the most endearing of ceremonies during Nagoba Jatara, continued until daylight on Monday having started at about 2 a.m. after the puja which ended at 1 a.m. The ritual is about introducing new daughters-in-law in the Mesram clan of Gonds to the serpent god, Nagoba, which makes them eligible to offer prayers at the clan god’s temple.
There were about 50 women who had come into the clan through wedding during the last 12 months. A few others who for unspecified reasons could not participate in the Bheting ceremony in earlier years, also joined the group.
The white clad ‘bheti koriad’, as the daughters-in-law are called, were taken in a procession led by Pardhan musicians to the Nagoba temple where they were first introduced to the Sathi dev, the temple adjoining the sanctum of Nagoba.
After the darshan of the Sathi, the women were introduced to the clan elders before being taken to the sanctum of the serpent god.
The solemn ritual saw the Pardhan musicians playing the robust tribal music featuring the unique violin like kingri besides the dhols and pepre. Hundreds of pilgrims watched the rituals unfold seated within the temple premises.