Goddess Samaleswari is considered the divine mother among devotees in western Odisha. Accordingly, the devotees express their joys and sorrows in front of the goddess. Many devotees this year chose to express themselves in letters deposited in the temple’s donation box, addressed to the deity.
The letters fell out when the money deposited in the temple’s donation box was being counted. A young girl seemed to have written to Samaleswari, praying for a happy life for her lover. She also prayed that the two should get to tie the knot soon. Not just this, she asked the goddess how they could be happy together for the rest of their lives.
The letter reads: “Jai Maa Samalei, Maa, please accept my prayers. Maa, I have come to you with a hope. Please help me get married to the love of my life Rabindra with everyone’s consent."
Two more letters were also found from this donation box. One letter is in Bengali, while the other is in Malayalam. However, it is not clear what has been said in them.
Another letter found in the donation box had a devotee’s prayer for the wellbeing of his family. It reads: “Maa Samaleswari ki jai, I wish my family may find peace in their life and all of their desires should be fulfilled. Maa Samaleswari, bless my family with all love and luck."
In another letter, a man hoped that his daughter would pass the NEET.
Recently, Sambalpur district witnessed a huge crowd as people stepped out to celebrate western Odisha’s major agrarian festival Nuakhai. Nabanna (new rice) is offered to Maa Samaleswari, the presiding deity of Sambalpur, at the stipulated lagna as per ritual.
Devotees and tourists from across the state visited the shrine for a glimpse of the deity Samaleswari. Devotees in large numbers thronged the temple after a gap of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.