Process of the Chandan Yatra

Chandan Yatra is observed on the Akshaya Tritiya day at Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri. It is observed for 42 days. Chandan Yatra is also called as the Gandhalepana yatra. It is observed as two parts Bahara Chandan (21 days) and Bhitara Chandan (21 days).

Bahara Chandan is observed with much enthusiasm at Narendra tank for 21 days. The last day of this ritual is known as Bhaunri (circle). During the Bhaunri night (20th night ), the Chapa moves around twenty one times. The Chapa (boats) again moves around Seven times in every corner and at the center of the tank.

During the Twenty one days of Bahara Chandan 20 types of Veshas of Madanamohan (Utsava Vigraham – Moving deity of Lord Jagannatha) are being taken out for procession.

These 20 Veshas are as follows

Natabara Vesha,
Krushnajanma Vesha,
Rajadhiraja Vesha,
Banabihari Vesha,
Vatsaharana Vesha,
Gomatikrushna Vesha,
Khatadoli Vesha,
Chakranarayana Vesha,
Nauka Keli Vesha,
Rasamangala Vesha,
Kandarparatha Vesha,
Arghasura Vesha,
Rahasa Mandali Vesha,
Raghunatha Vesha,
Sadabhuja Gauranga Vesha,
Nrusingha Vesha,
Govardhana Puja Vesha,
Giridhara Vesha,
Chintamani Vesha and
Gajauddharana Vesha.

During these 20 days of festivity Madanamohan along with Sridevi, Bhudevi, Ramakrishna and Pancha Pandava (Pancha Shiva Linga) visits Narendra Tank in a colourful procession. The richly decorated palanquins of the Lord Jagannatha is known as Mani Vimana carried by the servents of the Lord. This Mani Vimana (palanquin) is followed by the palanquins of other deities. 42 types of sevakas (servents of the Lord) accompany Madanamohan in the procession.

Chandan Yatra procession is headed by decorated elephant. This procession also includes nagas, sakhi medha, dancers, musicians and lots of fire works. Large number of devotees and pilgrims enjoy this colourful procession. On the way to the narendra tank, Idol of the lord take shelter under the Chhamundias. Chudanga Hanuman also join this procession. Lord accepts offerings (panti bhoga) from various mathas, kings palace, Jagaghars and other dignitaries.  This procession ends at Narendra Tank.

When the procession of lord ends, idol taken to bath on the Chandana Mandapa. Chandana Mandapa is a stone tub filled with fragrant water mixed with sandal paste. By that time Two chapa (well decorated boats) white and red colors are prepared for the rowing by the Chapa Dalai sevakas. They look like beautiful swans floating on the water. White chapa is for Madanmohan, Sridevi and Bhudevi. Red chapa is for Rama, Krishna with Pancha Pandava (Panch Shivas).  White one is known as Bhadra and red one is called as Nanda. All the deities roam around the tank till early hours of the morning and then go back to their respective shrines. Gajapati Maharaja of Puri also offer the seva to the god known as Mahajana seva.

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