Puri, May 2 UNI | 3 months ago

Twenty-one-day annual water sports summer festival popularly known as 'Chandan Yatra' of the lord Jagannath began with traditional ceremony this evening.

Madan Mohan, the representative image of Lord Sri Jagannath, accompanied by five Shivas enjoy the boating in the huge Narendra tank to bit the scorching summer heat on the auspicious occasion of 'Akshyaya Tritiya.'

As per the schedule Madanmohan the representative idol of Lord Jagannath, his consort Laxmi accompanied by Panch Mahadevs (five Shivas) believed to be incarnation of panch pandavas began their pleasure trip from the temple in six separate palanquins along the Grand Road (Bada danda) to Narendra tank (a huge water body) situated about 1.5 kms from the temple for boating.

The deities on board the decorated palanquins were carried over the shoulders of a special set of servitors known as Biman Badu. The temple musicians recite notes of Geet Gobinda and Orissi bhajans. The youths of various Jaaga ghars (schools of martial arts) accompany the deities displaying their skills along the Badadabda.

The rhythmic body movements of palanquin bearers in concert with swinging of the top half of the decorated palanquin, particularly of Madan Mohan called 'Manivimana' is a rare treat for the pilgrims and devotees.

The accompanying devotees in the procession participate in the bathing ritual and join in grand feast which follows the bathing. The playing of Orissi song 'Dekha go radhamadhab chali ' on clarionets accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and blowing of conch shells besides display of fireball skill (banati) in the procession presented a splendid scene along the Badadanda.

The deities on their arrival at the Narendra tank were accorded sandal wood paste and aromatic water bath for cooling effect. Then the deities were taken in procession to their respective boats shaped as giant swans.

The deities on board move about the tank enjoying the notes and dances of orissi presented by danseuse on the decks till late in the evening and return to the temple in the manner and style as they went.

This scene is repeated every day and on completion of twenty one days the concluding ceremony known as 'Bhaunri' is observed with display of fire works and music extravaganza.

(Posted on 02-05-2014)