Sporadic rain in many parts of Odisha including twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack has dampened the festive spirit of Durga Puja in the state.
Under the influence of a low pressure area formed over Bay of Bengal, heavy rainfall occurred in many places of Odisha.
Due to continuous downpour, the puja pandals, there were expecting heavy crowds, witnessed a poor footfall on Navami. People preferred to remain indoors for the heavy rain.
There were also reports that rainfall affected puja pandals at Dhamana square in Bhubaneswar, Athagarh in Cuttack district and Vyasanagar in Jajpur district.
However, people started visiting the puja pandals in Bhubaneswar city in the late evening when the rain stopped.
"If the rain could have spared the puja, we would have been able to enjoy the festival, which is being celebrated after a gap of two years," said Nalini Sahoo, a devotee.
Meanwhile, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan visited puja pandals at Saheed Nagar, Baramunda and Rasulgarh in Bhubaneswar city and offered prayers to Maa Durga.
As per IMD's bulletin, heavy rainfall of 7 to 11 cm is likely to occur at isolated places over the districts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Gajapati, Nabarangpur, Ganjam, Puri Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Balasore and Bhadrak on Wednesday.
( 220 Words)