The Chandan Yatra, which continued for three weeks at Jagannath Temple in Puri, has concluded. Normally, thousands of devotees flock to witness this yatra every year. However, this year, the Yatra was carried out amidst strict Covid protocol.
Chandana Yatra also known as Gandhalepana yatra is the longest festival observed at Jagannatha Temple in Puri. Chandana Yatra or Sandalwood Voyage in Sanskrit continues for 42 days and is observed in two parts: Bahara Chandana and Bhitara Chandana. Bahara Chandana starts from the auspious day of Akshaya Tritiya and continues for 21 days. Only from this day, construction of the chariots for the annual Ratha Yatra festival begins.
In the first 21 days, the representative idols of the main deities of the Jagannath temple as well as five Shivalingas known as the Pancha Pandava are taken in a procession from the Singhadwara or the Lion Gate of the Jagannatha Temple in Puri to the Narendra Tirtha tank. The deities Madanamohana, Bhudevi, Sridevi and Ramakrishna participate in this yatra for 21 days. The deities are taken on two chapas (boats), namely, Nanda and Bhadra, on an excursion around the Narendra Tritha.
After various rituals the deities are taken to the Narandra pond located near the Jagannath Temple and they are placed on grandly decorated boats for an evening cruise of the tank. The last 21 days include rituals held inside the temple itself.