Puri is a land of fairs and festivals. Throughout the year tourists could enjoy
their visit to Puri. Puri brings a host of colourful fairs and festivals every season
and 'Durga Puja' is one of the most important festival. In Puri the festival of
'Durga Puja' is also known as 'Gosani Yatra'. Every year several clay idols of Mahisamardini
Durga are worshipped during this festival. The Gosani Yatra of Puri has its origin
in the folk culture. This fact is evident from the local folk names they bear such
as Kakudikhai, Janhikhai, Barabati, Janhimundia, Sunya Gosani, Hadabai, Gelabai,
Belabai etc. During Gosani Yatra, different types of other clay figures Ravana lifting
Kailash mountain, Demons, Ghosts, Nagas, wooden toys etc. are also worshipped. Like
Gosanis, gigantic images of Naga are also made and worshipped during the festival.
These large male images symbolise heroism and valour. The Naga images represent
the Akhada culture of Puri.
At Puri the faces of the Gosani figures are depicted in such a manner
which gives an impression that Devi is closely watching Mahisasura and engaged in
fierce fighting. Here in this case both Mahisasura and Devi look at each other with
great concentration. Another feature of the Gosani images of Puri is that, here
the demon in most of the cases is depicted in theriomorphic form i.e., the head
is of the buffalo and the body is of a human being.
The decoration of these figures are also interesting
like the images which are also indigenous in nature and arranged with sola (thromocol)
and jari (polythin) work. The crown, ornaments, attributes and the halo are made
of sola and jari which double the beauty of these images.