Dasara Balada in Orissa – Durga Puja Dedicated to Bullocks – Cows and other Domestic Animals



Dasara Balada is observed during the Durga Puja period in certain regions of Orissa. It is dedicated to bullocks, cows and other domesticated animals. This unique ritual is observed in Bishnupur and Arnapal areas in Bhadrak District in Orissa.

Bullocks, cows and other domesticated animals arrive in herds on the day. The animals are decorated with peacock feathers and tinkling bells. The horns are covered with beautiful covers. The backs of the animals are covered with clothes. Numerous other decorations are added by the owners of the animals.

The farmers fast during the seven days of Durga Puja and the animals are also not taken out for work. They are pampered and given variety of food.

The most important rituals is held on the Dasara day (Vijayadasami – the Durga immersion day). On the day, ropes, posts, halters of animals are worshipped. Prayers are offered to bullocks and cows. The animals are then taken to Durga Puja area for worship.

The animals are garlanded in the area and leaves used in the puja are given to the animals.