Today, on the main Konark Highway, next to us, were going an unlimited amounts of orange pilgrims.
Whenever I looked out the window on the stretch of road visible from our home, we could see singing Indians dressed in orange colors. Each of them carried on a shoulder a two-meter-long stick with plastic-covered symbols of Hindu culture. The stick was completed on both sides with vessels that probably contained some holy water. These, in turn, were decorated with fruits and flowers.
After a closer meeting, we noticed that they are all barefoot. Many also went in civilian colors but orange was relatively more and they often had some “team” stylish designations. In the morning hours, most of them seemed to be giving shouts and group chants. In the early afternoon, however, more and more people had tired faces, and we could see their pilgrim way of moving – whoever had traveled, in a lifetime, a couple of kilometers or more, knows what I am talking about. It was obvious that wherever they go, it is not a short stretch of road.
On the roadsides, there were specially prepared rest stops for him in many places. They lay there resting, sometimes talking. Pilgrims also occupied courtyards of temples and porches of private houses. In this country managed by Sri Jagannatha, the doors for these people are open everywhere. Places where they were nomad were marked with stands on which the colored sticks carried by them were resting.
They all headed for the Shiva temple near Sri Jagannath Mandir, to take part in the next day, tomorrow, August 6, in the ritual of pouring water on Shiva’s head. We know that there are many such pilgrimage opportunities and orange processions throughout the year. Indeed, we have met many similar people earlier – during the Rath Yatra festival and in front of him.
We learned that this event – concerning a pilgrimage to the great Shiva – is called Kaudia Jala Yatra. It started two days ago and will last a month, and its key moment falls just tomorrow.