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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

Which are the popular events and festivals celebrated in Puri?

Rupali Khanna DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Do you enjoy celebrations and being a part of it? If yes, then the city will surprise you with its colorful and frolic festivals. Around 62 festivals are celebrated in the city throughout the year. Interestingly, all these festivals are related to Lord Jagannath. Here are a few important ones that you should definitely be a part of.

  • Rath Yatra

    Rath Yatra or the Chariot Festival is as famous as the Jagannath Temple in Puri. This annual festival is celebrated on Ashad Shukla Dwitiya (second day in bright fortnight of Ashad month, which usually falls in the month of July) to commemorate the events of Lord Krishna's journey to Gundicha Mata's temple. Three richly decorated chariots which resemble temple structures, are pulled through the streets of Puri. The procession is lead by Balarama's chariot followed by Subhadra's chariot and the Jagannath's chariot. A glimpse of Lord Jagannath on the chariot is considered to be very auspicious, even the touch of the chariot or the ropes with which these are pulled is considered holy enough to confer the results of several pious deeds or penance for ages, as it is said that on this occasion, the chariot, the wheels, the grand avenue all become one with Lord Jagannatha himself. Almost 4000 people gather to draw each chariot. During the entire week of the Rath Yatra, the deities are daily dressed in new attires and served with poda pitha or rice cakes.

  • Puri Beach Festival

    Held in pleasant weather of the month of November, this festival will add charm to your visit to Puri. The festival takes place on the beautiful beach of Swargadwar, celebrating the beaming Oriya spirit. It hosts a range of classical and folk dances of India, offering an opportunity to the tourists to interact with the locals and enjoy the bountiful charms of Orissa. Exhibition of handicrafts, handloom and sand Art make this festival unique. Conducted by the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Orissa(HRAO), it also has events like Fashion shows and Rock shows which make it an out and out fun lovers fest.

  • Dola Yatra

    This colorful festival is celebrated from the tenth day of the bright fortnight of Falgun (March to April) till the full moon day. It is a week-long festival in which Dolagobinda or Madan Mohan is enshrined on a swing. Celebrated to welcome the spring season, it is associated with the Radha-Krishna cult where Lord Krishna accepts bhoga from every home of the town by moving in a Viman. Abira or red powder is sprinkled on the deities and the idols of Radha and Madan Mohan are worshipped in a swing(doli) throughout the night. The festival is associated with the legend of the demon king Hiranyakashipu and his son Prahlada,the greatest devotee of Vishnu. The 'Gomata' or the cow is idolized as the mother on Dola Purnima.

  • Chandan Yatra

    'Chandan Yatra', literally means sandalwood paste festival. This festival marks the conclusion of the cycle of religious festivals in Puri. Starting on the third day of the bright fortnight of Baisakh Akshay Tritiya, this spectacular festival continues for twenty-one days (April to May). This auspicious festival also marks the beginning of the construction of the Rathas. At the time of the festival idols of deities namely Krishna , Rama, Madan Mohan , Saraswati and Lakshmi are taken out in a beautifully decorated boats or floats for a holy procession. These are very richly decorated and are called 'Chapa'. Devotees take the images of deities in beautiful palanquins and decorated boats to Narendra Sarobar, accompanied by priests, musicians and dancers.

These festivals add bright color to the landscape of Orissa, don't they? So come and be a part of the rich culture and tradition of the city of celebrations.

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