States Odisha Festivals Chandan Yatra

Chandan Yatra Odisha

Being the 42-day long festival in Odisha, Chandan Yatra is celebrated at Jagannath Temple in Puri, which takes place by worshipping the deities with sandal paste mixed with water. Thousands of pilgrims across the worlds flock the land to be a part of the great religious festival of Odisha.

Chandan Yatra Odisha

Out of all the Jagannatha related festivals in Puri, Odisha, the longest is the Chandan Yatra. The Sandalwood journey, the famous festival is a forty-two day-long occasion. It is held with the commencement of the third lunar day of the waxing moon or the Akshay Tritiya, of Vaisakh. The legend that forms the backstory of the festival comes from the Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy. In the fable, Lord Krishna asks the devotee Madhavendra Puri to smear sandal or Malaya Chandan over the God Gopal. This Malaya Chandan was to be fetched from Odisha and was going to give the god relief from the extreme heat. Thus, devotees till today fulfil their Lord's instructions.

They cover the deity of Jagannatha in sandalwood. The popular festival in Puri takes place in two parts, the Bahara Chandan and the Bhitara Chandan. The festival is held two twenty-one-day period. Though the most famous festival of Odisha is Ratha Yatra, it can be noted that the building of the Ratha starts from Akshay Tritiya, the day the Chandan Yatra begins. This festival also provides a significant cultural context in reference to spiritual practices. It is a rich field for the study of cultural anthropology.

Highlights of the Festival

  • During Bahara Chandana the deities are taken for the playful trip. The deities include Jagannatha, Balaram, and Suvadra, along with the five Shivlingas.
  • In this Bahara Chandana event, they are taken to the Narendra Tirtha Lake by conducting a very colorful procession.
  • The very festive procession commences from the Singhadwara of the Puri Jagannatha temple.
  • The two boats Bhadra and Nanda carry the deities around the Narendra Tirtha. During and after which a significant number of rituals take place.
  • Jagannatha, Balaram, and Suvadra and their five siblings are placed on gorgeous boats and taken around the tank for a cruise in the evening.
  • Upon completion of the Bahara Chandan, the Bhitara Chandan festival begins. Whilst the former means "outdoor sandal' referring to the festivities requiring the deities to be taken out of the temple.
  • The Bhitara of the Bhitara Chandana refers to the indoor aspect of the famous festival. The playful trip in which the deity is carried to takes place all inside the Temple complex.
  • During the second half of the yatra, it occurs four times. On Purnima, Shasti, the Ekadashi, and Amavasya.

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