Orissa, Information about Orissa, Festivals in Orissa
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Festivals of Orissa

Orissa is a land of fairs and festivals. Some of the festivals which are celebrated in Orissa are the Basant Panchami, Makar Mela on Kalijal Island, the Magha Saptami Mela, Ashokashtami, Kalinga Mahotsava, Rajrani Music Festival, Jhanu Yatra, Chandan Yatra, Snana Yatra, Rath Yatra, Konark Dance Festival, Durga Puja and Beach Festival.

Basant Panchami

The Basant Panchami festival is celebrated in the month of February in Orissa. Basant Panchami is dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess of learning. The colour yellow is also a symbol of spring fertility and plays an important role on this day. The people dress in shades of yellow and make offerings of yellow flowers to the goddess Saraswati. Clay statues of the Goddess are installed at chowks and educational institutions, and many children begin their schooling only after this auspicious festival.

Magha Saptami Mela

The week-long Magha Saptami Mela is held on the Chandrabhaga river in Konark. This fair is held in the month of February in the praise of Lord Surya. Magha Saptami is one of the most colourful and popular fairs in the state. It is the second biggest festival in Orissa after the Rath Yatra. Millions of devotees gather here before dawn, transforming sunrise into a religious event. It is believed that a dip in the river on this day cures all illness and the spiritual benefit is compared to that off the holy Ganga.

Kalinga Mahotsav

The Kalinga Mahotsav is held in Dhauli to mark the victory of King Ashoka in the war. In essence, the Kalinga Mahotsav pays tribute to the Buddhist philosophy of winning people's heart through Dharma than conquering land by force.The Dhauli is the place where King Ashoka experienced remorse over Kalinga war and bloodshed, and became a peace lover. This festival provides an opportunity to watch well known martial dances like Chhau and Paika.

Kalinga Mahotsav, Orissa
Rajarani Music Festival

The Rajarani music Festival is celebrated in the Rajarani Temple complex in Bhubaneshwar. Various famous vocalists and instrumentalists from across the country came to perform at the Rajarani Music Festival. The ancient temple complex provides a dramatic backdrop with its beautiful sculptures. 


Ashokashtami is celebrated as an occasion of the Lord Rama’s thankgiving to Shiva and Parvati, for helping him win the war against Ravana. This festival is celebrated in Bhubaneshwar in the month of March-April as a car festival or mini Rath Yatra in the Lingaraj Temple. In this car festival, the deity is carried in a chariot in a colourful procession from Lingaraja Temple to the Rameswara Temple nearby.

Jhamu Yatra

Jhamu Yatra is held usually on the last Tuesday of April in the coastal districts of Orissa. Many people, young and old, walk on hot charcoal, nails and thorns to display the extreme devotion to God. This festival is held in prominent religious centre.

Chandan Yatra

Chandan Yatra is the most famous festival of Puri. This 21 days festival is celebrated in the month of June in the famous Jagannath temple. In this festival, for 21 days, replicas of the main deities of the Jagannath temple are taken out in a procession to the Narendra Tank, where they are set afloat in an ornately decorated boat, after being bathed with sandalwood paste.

Snana Yatra

Snana Yatra is observed on the full moon day of Jyestha, either in the month of June or July. The Snana Yatra festival has a special significance in the cult of Jagannath. On this day, the idol of Lord Jagannath is taken for a bath in the temple premises.

Rath Yatra

The Rath Yatra or Car Festival is held in Puri in the month of July. This festival is one of the most spectacular and famous festival of Orissa. This festival is also one of the most important festival and attracts millions of pilgrims and visitors from all over the world. During this festival, the three deities of Jagannath Temple, Lord Jagannath, Balbhadra and Subhadra are taken out in enormous decorated three chariots in a procession through the main streets of Puri. These chariots are pulled by millions of devotees from all over India to Gundicha Ghar, where the Lord rest with his sister Subhadra and brother Balbhadra for a week, accompanied with the devotional music. A similar type of procession is held after a week to bring back the deities. The chariots are cleaned by the Gajapati Maharaja of Puri with a golden broom to proclaim that he is the first of the Lord's servants and on this particular day he performs this act to demonstrate socialism in action and the dignity of labour. This act is connected with famous incident in history of Orissa, according to which the king Purushottama Deva was outwitted by his minister to marry the princess Padmavati. So, the deities go to Gundichaghar where they remain for eight days and at the end of which the return car festival (Bahuda Yatra) takes place. 

Durga Puja

Durga Puja is an important festival in Orissa and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. This festival is celebrated in the month of October. Diyas, beautifully decorated homes, sweets and new clothes all form a part of this day. Huge images of Durga are worshipped in pandals for three days and on the last day immersed in the rivers.

Beach Festival

The Beach Festival is held at the Puri beach in Puri in the month of November. The fashion shows and rock music competitions, craft and handloom exhibitions, classical and folk dances and music, and food festivals are part of the festival.The Puri Beach Festival is conducted by the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Odisha (HRAO), and is co-sponsored by the Indian Ministry of Tourism, the government of Odisha, the Development Commissioner of Handicrafts and the Eastern Zonal Cultural Center of Calcutta.

Beach Festival, Orissa
Konark Dance Festival

The Konark Dance Festival is the best known festival of Orissa. The Konark Dence Festival is held in the month of December at the famous Sun Temple in Konark. This is a famous festival of classical dances performed in an open air auditorium with the Sun Temple in the background. Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi and the local Chhau dance are performed in this festival. In the evening, the atmosphere is surcharged with rhythmic dancing beats and melodious tunes accompanied by the surging waves of the sea.

Shreekhetra Mahotsava

The Shreekhetra Mahotsava showcases the rich cultural heritage of Orissa and Puri in particular. The main highlights of the festival are Odissi dance and music, handloom exposition, handicraft exhibition, food festival, religious discourses and exhibition. 


States in East India
Bihar || Jharkhand || Orissa || Sikkim || West Bengal

Information about Orissa
Introduction || History || Geography || People || Dances || Festivals || Temple Architecture || Shopping || Cuisine || Beaches || Tourist Attractions || Buddhist Monasteries || Wildlife Sanctuaries

Beaches in Orissa
Puri Beach || Chandipur Beach || Gopalpur-On-Sea || Chandrabhaga Beach || Paradwip Beach

Cities in Orissa

Bhubaneshwar || Cuttack || Konark || Puri

Distances from Cities in Orissa
Bhubaneshwar || Cuttack || Paradwip

Festivals of Orissa
Basant Panchami || Magha Saptami Mela || Kalinga Mahotsava || Rajarani Music Festival || Ashokashtami || Jhamu Yatra || Chandan Yatra || Snana Yatra || Rath Yatra || Durga Puja || Beach Festival || Konark Dance Festival || Shreekhetra Mahotsava

Wildlife Sanctuaries of Orissa
Simlipal National Park || Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary || Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuary || Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary || Chilka Wildlife Sanctuary
|| Badarama Wildlife Sanctuary || Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary || Chandka Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary


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