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Lanka Podi at Sonepur in Orissa

Lanka Podi is a unique ritual held at Sonepur in Subarnapur District of Orissa. Children recreate the scene of Hanuman burning Lanka on the day. It is observed annually on the Bhadra Amavasya as per traditional Hindu calendar in Orissa and is also known as Saptapuri Amabasya. The ritual traces its roots to 8th century. In 2018, Lanka Podi date is September 9.

Small Terracotta statues of Hanuman are wrapped with clothes and leaves and are mounted on wheels. The tails of statues are wrapped with old clothes and is then dipped in kerosene and set on fire. The statues are then paraded through the streets with the tail burning symbolizing Hanuman running around burning Lanka.

The statues are finally taken to nearby Somalai Temple and broken. Some people place the statues on rooftop as guardian deity.

The legend and ritual takes place from the belief that Sonepur was Lanka, the golden city of Ravana. On a small island near Sonepur on River Mahanadi there is a temple of Lankeshwari