(Last Updated on : 22-01-2015)
Temple Festivals are compelling in their raw energy, spiritual dedication and a splash of colours juxtaposed with rhythms that differ from district to district and tribe to tribe. The Festivals reflect the religious flow of all origin and purposes of the Oriya
people. They unite in the festivals and fairs in a harmony of dances, music and Jatras. Enamoured with temples across its landscape, Orissa boasts a number of temple festivals especially related to Lord Jagannath
including the world famous "Rath Yatra
" or the Chariot Festival.
or Gandhalepana Jatra is a popular Temple Festival of Orissa that is celebrated from Baisakh Shukla Tritiya to Jyestha Shukla Astami. This festival is a cruise in Narendra Pond
and carries different reflections of Sri Jagannath, namely Madanmohon, Rama Krishna, Lakshmi
and five Shivas
, i.e. Sri Lokanath, Sri Yameshwar, Sri Kapalamachana, Sri Markandaeswara, Sri Nilakantheswar in different palanquins. At the Chandan Mandap inside the pond the deities engage themselves in water sport in the specially arranged vats of sandal paste water.
This is observed on the 8th day of the bright fortnight of Baisakh. One hundred and eight pots of sacred water are offered to the deities and other rituals are performed. "Nursingha Janma" is celebrated and on the 14th day of the bright fortnight the icon of Nursingha is taken in a procession to Jagannathaballava and a ceremony is performed.
Sital Sasthi is another Orissa Temple Festival which is observed on the 16th day of the bright fortnight of Jyestha. The images of Dolagovinda and Pancha Pandav Shiva are taken to the temple of Lakshmi where a ceremony is performed. "Rajendravisheka" is the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Jyestha. Lord Jagannath has his "Avishek" and the suggestion of his marriage with Rukmini
On the 11th day of the bright fortnight of Jyestha, "Rukmini Harana
" is celebrated when the representative deity of Jagannath, elopes Rukmini from the temple of Shri Bimala while she is offering worship and then the marriage is performed.
is another Temple Festival that marks the return journey of the deities on the 9th day. On their way back, they stop at Mausima Temple
Other Orissa Temple Festivals include "Snana Jatra
" on the Jyestha Purnima - the Birth-day of Shri Jagannath. The three deities are brought in a colourful pahandi procession to the ornamented “Snana Bedi” that is an elevated bathing platform. 108 pitchers full of scented water are fetched from a sacred well and poured over the deities amidst chanting of mantras and loud rejoicings.
The Orissa Temple Festivals are numerous in number and Netrotsava is one of them. This is the concluding day of the anasara when the deities are decked in the finest robes and ornament who appear before the thousands of eager devotees feast their eyes.
Hera Panchami is observed on the Shukla Panchami, when the image of goddess Lakshmi is ceremonially taken to Gundicha Temple
where the chariots are anchored. On the 8th day, the chariots are placed facing south-west for resumption of their return journey next day in the ritual of Dakshinamurti
Many such Orissa Temple Festivals include Niladrivije, Sayana Ekadashi, Garuda Sayana Dwadashi, Karkata Sankranti, Chitalagi Amabasya, Jhulan Yatra
, Balabhadra Janma, Rahurekha Lagi, Ganesh Chaturthi
, Dwitia Osha and so on. The Orissa Temple Festivals are best known for their age-old traditional rituals and colourful celebrations.