|| The marriage of Shiva and Parvati is celebrated as Sitalsasthi. It was started 400 odd years ago. Every year it is celebrated towards the end of the summer season (sixth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Jyestha), the aim being to call the rain Gods to give reprieve from the scorching heat of the Sun. During the carnival period Sambalpur attracts tourists from nearby states and abroad also.
Sitalsasthi is observed to celebrate the marriage of Gouri and Shankar - as depicted in the Shiva Purana. When Tarakasur was causing terror and devastation all over the world(Swarga, Martiya and Patala), all the Devata's approached Vishnu to find out a solution. Vishnu was undone; as Bramha had bestowed a boon that Tarakasura can only be killed by the son of Shiva.
Tarakasura knew it well that after the death of his first wife, Sati (Dakshayani), Shiva was left bereft, withdrew from the world and roamed in the wilderness living a life of austerity and would never have a son; further Shiva was in deep meditation. Vishnu suggested all the Devatas to approach Shakti and request her to take birth as Parvati. On the request of all the Devatas Shakti reincarnate herself as Sati (Parvati) born as the daughter of Himalaya and grew into a supremely beautiful young woman. Narada told many stories of Shiva to Parvati and persuaded her to seek Shiva in marriage. Parvati set in meditation, but even after ages passed Shiva’s meditation could not be broken. Again all the Devatas approached Vishnu to solve the problem. Suggested by Vishnu, Kamadeva took his bow and threw kamabana(Love Arrow) at Shiva. Shiva woke up and opened his third eye and burnt Kamadeva as a punishment; since then Kamadeva took the shape of Ananga. But as a result of this Parvati’s meditation was fulfilled.