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Pradeep Pattanayak

The annual festival of Chandan Yatra of the Holy Trinity of Srimandir in Puri will start on Tuesday, on the auspicious occasion of Akshay Tritiya.  

Like ordinary people, the sibling deities of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra also suffer from sultry heat of summer months. To beat the heat, while human beings plunge into water bodies like rivers and ponds, Lord Jagannath along with his siblings enjoys water sports.

Madan Mohan, the representative idol of Lord Jagannath, along with the representative idols of Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra, Bhudevi, Sridevi and five Shivalingas known as Pancha Pandavas are taken out of the sanctum sanctorum, placed in lavishly decorated palanquins, known as bimanas and taken in a procession to Narendra tank. This festival lasts for 21 days. 

The Vishwakarma servitors are busy giving final touches to two giant swan-shaped boats-Nanda and Bhadra. 

Devotees are eagerly waiting to have a glimpse of the Lords while enjoying their water sports this year as they were debarred from it for the last two years due to the pandemic-induced restrictions. 

“This year, the deities will enjoy their Chandan Yatra amidst devotees. We are excited as well as exalted to devout ourselves to the service of the Lords. We are busy giving final touches to the swan-shaped boats,” said the chief carpenter of Lord Jagannath’s Nandighosh chariot, Bijay Mahapatra.  

The festival also marks the beginning of the process of Trinity’s annual sojourn, the famous ‘Car Festival’. On this day, the construction of three grand chariots begins at the chariot construction yard.

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