Pradeep Pattanayak

A festival of brotherhood, faith and tradition, the seven-day-long ‘Pana Jatra’ is underway at the shrine of Baba Kamaleshwar at Chilika island under Krushnaprasad block in Puri district. 

Every year, the ‘Pana Jatra’ starts on Pana Sankranti. This year too, the festival started on Pana Sankranti day, which is also celebrated as Odia Naba Barsha. The uniqueness of the festival is that 35 villages participate and come together to celebrate the festival. The main attraction of the festival is the holy meeting of Hara (Lord Shiva) and Hari (Lord Vishnu). During this seven-day-long festival, ‘pana’ (a traditionally prepared sweet beverage) is distributed among the devotees. 

“The ‘Pana Jatra’ was started in 1948. This festival is called as Odisha’s second ‘Bali Jatra’,” said Pandit Tukuna Kar, a senior servitor. 

Informing about the preparation, Bikas Kumar Jena, a volunteer, said, “Thousands of devotees are visiting the fair. As the sun is beating down hard, we are distributing ‘pana’ among them.”

Keeping the number of visitors visiting the festival in view, the festival committee has requested the Chilika Development Authority to keep the floating bridge open for seven days, without any fixed period of time. Similarly, the organizing committee is taking care of sanitation at the fairground. 

“Through this festival, we want to send out the message of brotherhood. While thousands of devotees are visiting the shrine and fair, here the holy meeting of 17 ‘sambhus’ is also taking place,” said Manoj Kumar Sahu, secretary of the 35 Mouza Management Committee.


(Reported by Nilakantha Pradhan)