Sangati Jogwar

News Highlights

  • During Chandan Yatra,Jagannath Temple deities are taken along the Narendra Pond in a boat.
  • Apart from Bhubaneswar, Chandan Purnima is also celebrated in a big way in different parts of Odisha.

Chandan Purnima also popularly called Chandan Yatra in Odisha is observed on the day of Purnima i.e. Full Moon Day during Vaishakh or Baisakh in the Puri Jagannath Temple. This particular festival falls during April or May according to the English calendar. In 2024, Chandan Purnima will be celebrated on May 23 which is considered to be one of the most auspicious days in the entire process of the 42-day Chandan Yatra.

How is Chandan Yatra celebrated?

During the Chandan Yatra, the Jagannath Temple deities along with the five Pandavas are taken along the Narendra Pond in a boat. The meaning of Chandan is sandal or sandal paste which is smeared on all the murtis that are used during the festivals so that they feel cool during the hot summer. The paste of sandal is also mixed with water in the Narendra Pond.

Apart from Bhubaneswar , Chandan Purnima is also celebrated in a big way in Bhagwan Jagannath temples in different parts of Odisha. The 42-day festival starts with Akshay Tritiya and ends with Chandan Purnima. The tenure of the festival can be anywhere between 21 and 42 days and vary from one temple to the other.

The story behind Chandan Yatra in Jagannath Temple

The origin of Chandan Yatra can be traced back to the era of Mahabharata when the Pandavas were spending their exile and leading Agyat vasa which means they were living in disguise. It was important that no one identify them or else they will be forced to go back to vanvas again. In disguise, they were working at the court of King Virata. When Bhim kills Kichaka, King Virata gets acquainted with the fact that the Pandavas are living with him in disguise.

King Virata was happy that Pandavas chose his kingdom for Agyat Vasa and expressed his desire to meet Lord Shri Krishna. That is why Yudhisthira advises him to organise a boat rowing festival during the summer months. Both Krishna and his brother Balarama come to attend this festival.

That is when an overjoyed King Virata welcomed Lord Shri Krishna with sandal paste so that Bhagwan was not affected by heat. All the Pandavas, Krishna, and Balarama enjoyed the boat rowing competition. Since then every year the Chandan Yatra festival is organised to celebrate this event.

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