By Shiva Shankar Mishra Kalaiya, Dec. 3: Devotees in the famous Gadhimai Temple of Bariyapur in the district have started offering buffaloes from Tuesday morning, after the completion of Panchabali, an offering of five different animals, which include goat, buffalo, pigeon, wild mouse and rabbit. “Buffaloes will be offered to the Gadhimai Temple throughout Tuesday and goats, ducks, chickens and pigeons will be offered on Wednesday,” said Mangal Chaudhary, priest of the temple. The devotees of Gadhimai Temple have turned a blind eye to the Supreme Court’s directive of systematising and minimising animal sacrifices in the Gadhimai festival this year by slaughtering animals in large number, as in the past. A large number of the Indian devotees from the Indian States of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and from the Indian cities like Kolkata and Mumbai were also seen offering cattle in the festival. Pilgrims, who believe that the Gadhimai Goddess has fulfilled their desire, sacrifice buffaloes, goats, pigeons, mouse, rabbits and chickens in huge number in the festival. “The Gadhimai Goddess fulfilled my desire by blessing me with a son, which is why I have come here to offer a buffalo to her,” said Shova Devi of Baragadhi Rural Municipality. Pilgrims in thousands of number are visiting the temple on daily basis. By 12:00 on Monday 3,441 buffaloes were recorded in the stadium made by Gadhimai Development Committee while a large number of devotees offered buffaloes in the open ground as well. A member of the committee informed that more than 5,000 buffaloes in and outside the stadium were slaughtered by Tuesday afternoon. According to the committee, 17 buffaloes, kept under the open sky until Sunday night died of cold and diarrhea. Since many people have been opposing to animal sacrifice in the Gadhimai festival, the committee itself pronounced lesser number of animals than the actual number of sacrificed buffaloes. Many people have been lobbying to replace the killings and violence with peaceful worship and celebration while the devotees of the temple assert that the tradition of scarifying animals in the temple must continue. Traffic in 15-20 kilometers area near the temple has also been disturbed due to the festival. It was an uphill battle for the traffic police to manage the vehicular movement in the area. Fifteen devotees who had gone to worship the temple had fainted and the police had also arrested 40 pickpockets from the temple area on Monday. Around seven million pilgrims are expected in the festival, which began on November 17.