Ashokashtami is one of the most important festival at the Lingaraj Temple
. It is the car-festival dedicated to Lord Shiva
and is celebrated on the 8th day of the month of Chaitra. During the festival the representative deity of Lingaraj, Sri Chandrasekhara is drawn in a car to the temple of Rameshwara.
The origin of the festival is connected with the Ramayana. Ravana proved invincible to Lord Ram as Goddess Kali was protecting him. Ram prayed for long seven days and managed to appease the goddess to withdraw support for Ravana. Eventually Rama killed Ravana and went on to capture Lanka. In order to celebrate the victory, he took out Shiva and Kali in a chariot. The festival is being observed to mark the day of victory for Ram.