Puri : Scores of devotees are converging in the holy city of Puri to celebrate the 42 day-long festival of 'Chandan Yatra'.
The festival that marks the end of a cycle of religious festival began on May 16, the Hindu holy day of Akshaya Tritiya. For the first 21 days garlanded idols of the deities are worshipped followed by a grand procession of the Gods on ornamented palanquins with great pomp and show.
The event ends with a holy water patrol on decorated boats, which are accompanied by priests, musicians and dancers. The rest of the 21 days of the festival are celebrated inside the temples. A paste made of Sandal wood and water is applied to the body of the mighty Lord Jagannath everyday. It is celebrated for 42days beginning from the third night of the Vaisakh and is celebrated till the night of full moon of Jyestha (Hindu calendar)," said Laxmidhar Das, a priest.
"We celebrate the 42 days as a special festival," he added. The devotees believe that people with illness get miraculously cured of their ailments during the festival, which explains the large number of visitors the event attracts every year.
"This festival attracts locals as well as visitors from other states, who come here to get their prayers answered. Once a man suffering from paralysis, who had lost all hope of recovery, came here from Kanpur, said Harihar Panda, a devotee. After coming to the festival he saw God and fell down and became well again. He went back to his city told everyone that he got healed after seeing God here," he added.