Konark Dance Festival
Fairs and Festivals of Orissa - Divine, Enchanting, Surreal
The fairs and festivals of a state is a mirror to the energy and enthusiasm of the people of the state. And this is absolutely true when it comes to Orissa. There are numerous festivals that keep Orissa engulfed and excited throughout the year. Orissa is a land full of temples and there are festivals that are exclusive to many temples. With the eagerness that is shown by the people, these festivals often turn out to be more than just religious ceremonies. They become a cultural showcase of Orissa. Rath Yatra is the most anticipated festival of the year. Millions of devotees take part in this procession festival. Then there are festivals that are devoted to a form of art like the Konark Dance Festival. It is dedicated to all the classical dances of India. One can enjoy the performances of Kathak, Odissi, Bharatnatyam and many other forms of dances. Amalgamation of devotion, dance and colors, is what perfectly describes the numerous fairs and festivals of Orissa.
Most Famous Festival
|Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra|
Rath Yatra in Puri is the grandest procession that takes place, probably in entire world. Held in the month of July, it is also the biggest event held in Orissa. The festival is the celebration of Journey of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, to their birthplace Gundicha Mandir. The idols of the three gods is taken out of the Jagannatha Temple in three humongous chariots. The chariots are pulled by thousands of devotees along the wide roads of Puri. Millions of other pilgrims line these streets to get a glimpse of the gods in their chariots. The distance that is covered to Gundicha Temple is 3 km. Feel the devotion that looming large in the air. The entire scene of Rath Yatra will leave you mesmerized and open mouthed.
Durga Puja is a six day long festival dedicated to Goddess Durga. This is the main festival of West Bengal. And since the number of migrants from Bengal is huge in Orissa, the festival is celebrated with the devotion and intensity as in West Bengal. During these six days, huge Pandals (halls) are built where the Puja takes place. There are many cultural programme that are organized in these pandals. The last day of the festival is the most eventful. The idol of Goddess Durga is taken out from the pandal in colorful procession. It is finally submerged in the holy river of Kathajodi.
Like in all parts of India, Maha Shivratri is celebrated with huge enthusiasm and gala in Orissa. The festival dedicated to Lord Shiva, falls on the 14th day of Phalgun according to Hindu calendar. On the day of Maha Shivratri, devotees keep fast for the entire day. They stay awake for entire night worshiping Lord Shiva. Offering Bael Leaves to Lord Shiva is considered auspicious and a must for all devotees.
Konark Dance Festival
Held in the month of December, Konark Dance Festival has become another major attraction besides the famous sun Temple. During the festival, many renowned artists display their skill in various classical Dances. The festivals also turn out to be a great platform for many budding dancers where they can showcase their talent. Having the magnificent floodlit Sun Temple as backdrop, the performances give a feel of fantasy. The main dances that are performed here are Bharatnatyam, Odissi and Kathak.
Puri Beach Festival
Puri Beach is arguably the best coast in East India. And the charm and flair of this tourist destination is further increased during early November by the magnificent Beach Festival. Many cultural shows are organized by Hotel and Restaurant Association of Orissa. Performances by known personalities and fashions shows are the biggest crowd puller during the Puri Beach Festival. This five day festival with colorful and vibrant settings matches the exuberance of Goa Beach Festival.
A trip to Orissa during the time of festivals is like a ticket to the land of fantasies. Spilled with colors of festivities, Orissa dons a completely new and refreshing look. Visit the magical land of Orissa experience a dream, awake.