Childless couple pays Rs 41k for 'holy water'

Childless couple pays Rs 41k for 'holy water'

A couple paid Rs 41,000 for a pot of ‘holy water’ from a well near the famous Lingaraj temple in the city hoping it would give them a child.

They were one among the hundreds of childless couple from different parts of the state and outside who had rushed to the city late on Thursday night to participate in the auction process to collect the ‘holy water’. The auction was conducted on the eve of Ashokastami, a local annual festival which was celebrated in the Lingaraj temple on Friday.

It is widely believed that if a barren lady takes a bath with a pot of water from Maricha Kunda, the holy well, on the eve of Ashokastami then she will be blessed with a child.

Therefore, a day before the auspicious festival every year, hundreds of childless couples gather near the Lingaraj temple to collect the water.  Interestingly, the well remains locked throughout the year and the Lingaraj temple authorities open it only once on the occasion of Ashokastami to provide the water to childless couples.  According to Lingaraj temple sources, the auction process this year began around midnight on Thursday and continued for a few hours.

The base price for first pot of water was kept at Rs 14,500. After the Bhubaneswar couple won the first pot of water by paying the sum, the second pot was auctioned and a couple from neighbouring town of Khurda got it for Rs 11,500. Several pots of ‘holy water’ were sold subsequently for a price.

Last year, the first pot of ‘holy water’ fetched Rs 21,000. A temporary bathroom was erected near the well for women to take bath in the sacred water.

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