Time: Hindu month of Baisakh
Duration: 42 days
Dedicated to: Lord Jagannath (Lord Krishna)
Highlights: Images of Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Lord Madanmoha Goddess Sridevi, Goddess Bhudevi and Lord Shiva are taken in a procession
Chandan Yatra takes place in almost every city of Orissa, but it is particularly famous in Puri. In many parts of Orissa, it is held in the honor to Lord Jagannath (Lord Krishna). Chandan Yatra of India is a 42-day long procession, which is usually conducted during the Hindu month of Baisakh. In this yatra, the images of Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Lord Madanmohan, Goddess Sridevi and Goddess Bhudevi are brought from the temple and taken to Narendra Sarovar (a sacred tank in Puri), in a sacred procession.
The idols of Lord Shiva are also gathered, from five Shiva temples, and taken to the Narendra tank, along with the other deities. They are commonly referred to as the “Pancha Pandavas”. It is at the Narendra tank that these idols are placed in beautifully ornamented boats and worshipped. Known as ‘chapa’, these boats are designed in the form of huge swans. The first 21 days are known as “Bahar Chandan”, while the rest 21 days have been given the name of “Bheetar Chandan”.
However, it is the period of the first 21st days that is more important. The yatra serves as an indication of the culmination of the religious festivals celebrated in Lord Jagannath Temple of Puri. Taking a cue from, this, the other temples at Puri also end the religious festivals taking place there. For the entire duration of the yatra, the road leading from Lord Jagannatha Temple to the “Narendra Sarobar” remains decorated, along with the houses on either side. Devotees flock from the different parts of India to attend this colorful procession and offer their prayers.