Chandan Yatra is one of the major festivals celebrated in Orissa
. The festival starts from Akshaya Tritiya
day - the third day (Tritiya) of the new moon month of Vaisakha (April-May). Chandan Yatra marks the conclusion of the cycle of religious festivals observed in the famous shrine of Jagannath Temple
followed by similar other shrines of Orissa.
This 42-day festival is held in two sessions. The first period of 21 days is known as ‘Bahar Chandan’ or outer Chandan is celebrated outside the temple premises. It is followed by the next 21 days of festivities known as ‘Bhitar Chandana’, which is celebrated inside the Temple.
During the Bahar Chandan period the representative images of Lord Ram, Lord Krishna, Madanmohan, Sridevi and Bhumi Devi are taken in a procession to Narendra Tank.The images of Lord Shiva from 5 Shiva Temples known as ‘Panch Pandavas’ also accompany them to the tank. After reaching the tank the deities are placed on different well-decorated boats and are rowed for a long time by the Sevakas. During the rowing ceremony 'Devadasis' (temple-dancers) dance and sing on the boat. It continues till the early hours of the morning and then retires to the respective shrines.
Chandan Yatra celebrated amid much pomp and splendor attracts thousands of people from far and near.