Deodhani Religious Dance Festival Held at Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati
Deodhani festival was held on the occasion of Manasa Puja (Puja of Sarpa Devi)
GUWAHATI: The Deodhani festival, a religious traditional dance festival of Assam, has been undergoing at the historic Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati.
The celebration of the festival has started with a three-day-long agenda. On Wednesday, the devotees performed Deodhani nritya at the Temple premises as a part of the festival ritual. The deodhani nritya or dance is performed as a solo or group performance. It is said that the Deodhani has a Bodo-Kachari origin.
The group performance comprises 3 or 4 women. This religious dance form is associated with the worship of the goddess of snake, Manasa. According to some the Deodhani is derived from two words i.e. Deo and Dhani. The Deo means God and Dhani means woman.
Devotees participating in the festival go through a month-long preparatory phase, during which they are not permitted to meet their families and have to stay in the temple premises with a photograph of the deity they want to represent.
They also seek knowledge from their gurus (religious leaders) during this period.
The Deodhani Dance, which is prevalent in Mangaldoi and southwest Kamrup area, of northeast India is linked to the Sukanani Oja-Pali.
The temple situated atop Nilachal hills, is dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya, consort of Lord Shiva. The 'Deodhani' festival is held in connection with the Manasa Puja (worship of the Serpent Goddess).
It is believed that taking part in this festival bestows the dancers with powers from goddess Kamakhya.