Bhubaneswar, May 20 (LocalWire): Thousands of devotees flock the pilgrim city of Puri to witness the start of the 21-day water sports festival Chandan Yatra to commemorate Lord Jagannath.
On the auspicious third day of the waxing moon in the month of Vaishaka, the festival of Akshay Tritiya is observed across India. It is believed that all works done on this day with Lord’s blessings see success.
The construction of chariots for the annual Puri Rath Yatra also starts on this day.
In Shrikhetra, or Puri dham, this festival is celebrated for 42 days, in which the Utsav Murti of the Jagannath temple Madanmohan, along with other deities of the temple and five Shivlingas, known as Pancha Pandavas, are taken in a procession to Narendra Pokhari where they are taken for a boat ride.
There is a pastime pertaining to this boat festival. In Dwapar yuga, when Maharaj Virat realized that the Pandavas where living incognito in his palace for one year in accordance with the condition of the gambling match that the pandavas lost, he requested Maharaj Yudhisthir that he wanted to have darshan of lord Krishna, upon which Yudhishthir instructed him to arrange for a nice boat festival for the pleasure of Krishna when he comes.
The deities on their arrival at the Narendra Pokhari are given a sandalwood paste and aromatic water bath for cooling effect.
Then the deities are taken in a procession to their respective giant swan-shaped boats. The deities move about the tank enjoying the notes and dances of Odissi presented by dancers on the decks till late in the evening. The deities return to the temple in the manner and style as they went out.
“It’s so amazing to be here at Chandan Yatra, the environment is amazing; I am really enjoying it, although Puri bore the brunt of cyclone Fani,” said Rohit, a devotee of Lord Jagannath.