Fairs and Festivals of Orissa
Besides Orissa's prismatic charms lying
in its heritage sites, temples, monuments, beaches, waterfalls and
panoramic splendors, the city is also embellished with numerous fairs
and festivals. During the festival celebrations the whole environ
shimmers with sounds of temple bells, holy songs, chanting of mantras,
lights, and the soothing smell of flowers. The pilgrims throng the
city all the year round making a more lively and spiritual
of Orissa are celebrated in their varied forms, they are related to
religion, tribal festivals, Lord Jagannath festival celebrations,
Konark Dance Festival, the Rajarani Music Festival, the Puri Beach
Festival and many seasonal exhibitions and fairs are all celebrated
with full enthusiasm and excitement.
¤ Some of the major Fairs & Festivals of Orissa
Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra
Ratha Yatra, known as 'Car Festival' is one of the biggest festivals
in Orissa. It is the holy journey of Lord Jagannath with brother
Balabhadra and sister Subhadra from the main Jagannath Temple to
another shrine called 'Gundicha Mandir' for nine days. Thousands of
devotees from all over India and abroad throng the city of Puri to
participate in this sacred journey of the Lords. The special feature
of the festival is the chariot on which the procession or the yatra
takes place, the chariot is pulled by the thousand of devotees by
Durga Puja (September-October)
Durga Puja epitomizes the ritual of good over evil. The festival is
dedicated to Goddess Durga who is considered as a goddess of power.
During the festival time the streets are crowded with people as
devotees gather over the Puja Mandaps for worship and prayers. On the
last day of the Durga Puja, the huge structures and images of Goddess
Durga are taken out in a procession and finally submerged in the holy
river of Kathajodi.
Makar Sankranti is celebrated on 14th of January with full
enthusiasm. The festival is dedicated to the Sun God, on this
auspicious day God 'Surya' (Sun) is worshipped with full
sanctification and devotion. Makarmela festival celebrations are more
popular in Kalijai (an island in Chilika), Atri, Ghatgaon, Keonjhar,
Jashipur and Jagatsinghpur. During the festive month these towns come
to life and thousands of pilgrimage make their visit to these
Konark Festival (December 1-5)
The Sun temple at Konark is the majestic splendor of the temple
architecture of Orissa. When the sun sets in the horizon and the stars
appear in the sky, the open-air auditorium against the backdrop of the
Konark temple - a World Heritage Monument echoes with rhythmic dancing
beats and melodious Rags and Tals. As a fitting tribute to this
heritage temple monument, renowned classical dancers of India
enlightens the whole environ by their impressive live performances.
The Konark Dance Festival takes place from 1st to 5th December every
year. This classical extravagant show is a journey through heaven.
Mela (January - February)
The most popular and colorful festival of Konark, an occasion for a
grand converge of Indian pilgrims and foreign tourist, falls on the
7th day of the bright half of 'Magha'. The devotees start their
prayers by taking a holy dip in to the Chandrabhaga Tirtha near the
coastal area and welcome the rising Sun with prayers.
Maha Shivaratri (February-March)
The festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva. "Shiva's Great Night"
falls on the 14th day of Phalgun and is observed by devotees all over
the country. On that eve the disciples observe a fast and perform
'Maha Puja' (grand worship) throughout the night. The devotees also
keep a watchful eye to witness the sacred lamp on the temple top.
The festival can be best enjoyed at Mahendragiri, Gupteswar, Kapilas,
Puri, Bhubaneswar and Khiching.
Taratarini Mela (March-April)
The 'Taratarini Mela' is one of biggest mela or fair in Orissa. The
fair is celebrated on massive scale on every Tuesday in the month of
'Chaitra' i.e. mid-March to mid-April at Taratarini Pitha -30 km from
Berhampur. During the celebrations the town is throng by thousands of
locals who actively participate in the activities of the fair.
Puri Beach Festival (November 5-9)
Puri - the home of Lord Jagannath treasures some awesome beaches
that offer much attractions and activities to its visitors. The city
is much known for its thirteen festival celebrations of Lord Jagannath
every year. Puri Beach Festival is lately developed festival
celebrated on the shores of Puri beach. The festival is held from
5th-9th November each year and has come out to be the major attraction
among the tourist.
The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Orissa (HRAO) conducts the
festival, events ranging from fashion shows to cultural programs on
the beautiful beach at Puri. The festivals offers a unique opportunity
for visitors to interact with the local populace and enjoy the many
unique charms of Orissa.
The Puri Beach Festival is co-sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism,
Government of India, the Department of Tourism, Government of Orissa,
Development Commissioner of Handicrafts and the Eastern Zonal Cultural
Dhanu Yatra ( December-January)
Dhanu Yatra celebrations are related to the Lord Krishna's visit to
Mathura. The enchanting ceremony of "Bow" takes place at
Bargarh. The town of Bargarh becomes Mathura, the river Jira becomes
Yamuna and the village Amapalli on the other bank of the river becomes
Many episodes from Hindu mythology are played and activities are
performed at the related places, these visual stories and performances
are enjoyed by the locals performance.