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Bhubaneswar, May 19: Thousands of devotees throng Old Town area of the city to witness the much-awaited Chandan Jatra of Lord Lingaraj. It started from Bindusagar Lake here Friday.
A two-day festival is being organized for the same. A grand procession of the deities on palanquins was taken out. Later, the deities float on a beautifully decorated boat. After circling the lake, the boat moved to the Mandapa—an inlet-like structure in the middle of the tank.
“The grand procession of the lord started around 7.30 pm, where the deities visited places along the banks of the lake. After all rituals were over, the lord was finally taken on a boat ride to the ancient Bindu Sagar lake,” Gopal Chandra Makdam, secretary of Chandan Yatra Committee said.
“This is an age old tradition where deities are taken out of the temple in procession for a holy patrol in water. It is believed that all the ceremonies of the land must be culminated with an aquatic break for a deity,” added Makdam.
The boats of the deities are splendidly decorated. They are known as ‘Chapa’. These boats are rowed by the sevakas. Temple dancers and priests dance and sing on the boat during the ride.
The tradition is also followed in Puri, where the Chandan Yatra takes place at Narendra Sarobar. Various cultural programmes were also held. There were Odissi dance, Dhol Mahuri form Bolangir and Kathak performances to please the lord on the first day of the festival.
“It is one of the very interesting festivals. I have been witnessing this festival since my childhood. The precession of the deities always look attractive with all those traditional dancers wearing various masks,” Ravinarayan Panda, a resident of old town.
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