Mrunal Manmay Dash

Phagu Dashami, celebrated on the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Phalguna (Phalguna Shukla Dasami), marks the beginning of the six-day long Dola Purnima festival at the Srimandir in Puri.

It is observed six days before the Purnima (full moon day) in Phalgun month, as per traditional Odia calendar.

Dola Purnima, also known as Dolayatra, is the Holi festival in Odisha and is observed for more than 10 days.

The festival celebrates the eternal love of Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha. From Phagu Dashami to Dola Purnima, the idols of Lord Krishna and Radha are placed in a swing and worshipped. The six-day festival is held at homes, temples and by spiritual organizations across the State.

Special rituals have begun on this occasion at Puri Srimandir as well. Following the completion of ‘Madhyanha Dhupa’ today, the Holy Trinity will undergo ‘Mailama’ ritual and after that they will wear a special red dress.

The deities at the Temple will be attired in ‘Chacheri Besha’ and they will be offered ‘Chachari Bhog’ till the next chaturdashi, while a variety of ornaments will adorn the sibling deities.

After getting the ‘Agyanmala’, the moving idols of Dolagobinda representing Lord Jagannath along with Devi Lakshmi and Devi Saraswati will be taken in a procession to an alter called Dola Vedi at Shri Jagannath Ballav mutt where special rituals will be performed.

Finally, Dola Purnima rituals will be performed in the Temple on March 25 when the sibling deities will be decorated with golden attire. Lakhs of devotees are likely to throng the shrine to offer obeisance to the deities on Dola Purnima.