Chandan Yatra in Puri

At Jagannath Dhaam Puri, after the world famous Ratha Yatra (cart festival), the Chandan Yatra is the second most famous festivals of Lord Jagannath. This is a festival that takes place for 42 long days and it is one among the famous twelve Yatras of Lord Jagannath. As per the Odiya traditions the Month of Vaisakha is very important as on the third day of the bright fortnight which is known as Akshaya Trutiya, the farmers of the state commence their seeds sowing process in order to ensure the harvest. The Chandan Yatra of Lord Jagannath commences on this day along with the formation of the cart for the deities also begins this day.

Chandana Yatra at Puri

The Legends Related with Chandan Yatra

It is believed that the history of Chandan Yatra has its root in the deep past of Mahabharata. During the Agyaatvasa of the Pandavas, they were staying in disguise in the palace of king Virata. After sometime when the king came to know about the Pandavas staying in his palace and he immediately met them and offered them prestige and friendship. One day the kind asked the Pandavas to let him meet Vasudeva, Shri Krishna.

To fullfil his desire Dharmaraj Yudhisthir advised the king to arrange boat rowing in a tank for the amusement of Lord Krishna in summer months. To give the Lord comfort from the strong heat the king offered Him sandal paste in fragrant water. So the king arranged accordingly in a large tank the boat rowing festival. Being satisfied with the dedication and devotion of King Virata Lord Shree Krishna appeared along with his elder brother Balarama. The Lord with his elder brother Balarama and Pancha Pandavas enjoyed the Snana yatra and rowing festival. Thus beholding Lord Krishna in this rowing festival the pious king fulfilled his devotional desire.

In the remembrance of this historic incident Lord Jagannath who is believed to be an Avatar of Lord Krishna enjoys Chandan Yatra at the Narendra Tank. This festival is also known as Chandan Mahotsava and before the Narendra tank this festival was organized at other tanks of which one is called the Benta tank.

Festivities of the Chandan Yatra

The celebration of the festival of Chandan Yatra takes place for 42 days and it is basically divided into two parts where each part of the festival is being celebrated for 21 days.

Bahara Chandan – Observed at the Narendra Tank
Bhitara Chandan - Observed in the Jalakrida Mandapa inside the Jagannath temple

The first part of the Chandana Yatra, Bahara Chandan is observed with a lot of enthusiasm and rituals are performed for 21 long days at the Narendra Tank. The last day of Bahara Chandan is called as Bhaunri (circle). During the Bhaunri (on the twentieth day) at night, the Chapa (special boat on which deities are seated) moves around 21 times. The Chapa again moves around 7 times in every corner and at the center of the tank. As per the Hindu Mythological books based on the Chandana Yatra which is known as the Jatra Bhagabata Bhaunri (encircling of Chapas) is celebrated 7 times in every corner starting from Agni Kona to Aishanya Kona. On the 21st day Ratra Chapa is not celebrated.

In these 21 days there are the 21 Besha (decorations) of Madanamohana are being done with huge celebrations. These are the Beshas of the deities which are done during the festivals.

Different Bhesas of Lord Jagannath

  • Different Bhesas of lord JagannathNatabara Besha
  • Krushnajanma Besha
  • Rajadhiraja Besha
  • Banabihari Besha
  • Vatsaharana Besha
  • Gomatikrushna Besha
  • Khatadoli Besha
  • Chakranarayana Besha
  • Nauka Keli Besha
  • Rasamangala Besha
  • Kandarparatha Besha
  • Arghasura Besha
  • Rahasa Mandali Besha
  • Raghunatha Besha
  • Sadabhuja Gauranga Besha
  • Nrusingha Besha
  • Govardhana Puja Besha
  • Giridhara Besha
  • Chintamani Besha
  • Gajauddharana Besha

Also Read: Puri Rath Yatra

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