Chandan Yatra of Lord Jagannth in Puri Odisha

Chandan Yatra, also spelled Chandana Yatra, is a major Hindu festival celebrated at the Jagannath Temple of Puri, Orissa. The annual Chandan Yatra Festival starts on the auspicious Akshaya Tritiya day, which falls on the 3rd day of the new moon month of Baisakh or Vaisakha (April-May). Chandan Yatra Festival marks the ending of the cycle of Hindu religious festivals celebrated in the Lord Jagannath Temple at Puri Orissa

Chandan Yatra is a 42 days long festival which is celebrated in two sections - ‘Bahar Chandan’ and ‘Bhitar Chandana’. ‘Bahar Chandan’ is the first 21 days of the festival and is celebrated outside the temple premises. While the next 21 days of the festival, called ‘Bhitar Chandana’ or ‘Bheetar Chandan’ is celebrated inside the temple premises. Chandan Yatra is the most elaborate festival in Puri, Orissa. On all the first 21 days of the festival, the entire road and houses on both sides from Lord Jagannatha Temple to Narendra Sarobar tank will be nicely decorated.

Chandan Yatra of Lord Jagannth in Puri Odisha

On the first 21 days of Chandan Yatra Festival, the representative idols of main deities of Shree Jagannath Temple – Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Madan Mohan, Sri Devi (Lakshmi) and Bhudevi (Bhumi Devi)– and five Shivalingas known as the Pancha Pandavas will be taken in a procession from Singhadwara (Lion Gate) to Narendra Tirtha (holy tank). The traditionally decorated elephants take the lead of the procession along with temple priests, musicians and dancers.

On reaching the Narendra Tirtha, the deities are then placed on beautifully decorated boats known as ‘Chapa’. The Chapa are then rowed on the tank until the early hours of the morning. Temple dancers, known as ‘Devadasis’ dance and sing on the boat during the rowing ritual. After the boat rides the deities will be taken back to the respective shrines. The procedure is repeated for the entire festival days. Thousands of devotees throng to watch the beautifully sight and perform prayers to the deities. 'Bhaunri Yatra' is performed on the last day of the Chandan Yatra festival, with display of fireworks and musical events.

After the completion of the Bahar Chandan Yatra, the inner Bheetar Chandan Yatra starts inside the temple premises for the next 21 days. Numerous rites are performed on these days.

Thousands of devotees from Orissa as well as different parts of the country flock to attend the colourful Chanda Yatra festival and offer their prayers to Lord Jagannath.


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