FAIRS AND FESTIVALS

A number of rituals are celebrated in a year in the temple of mysteriousLord Aakhandaleswar. According to Hindu’s calendar a year starts from the month of Baisakha.

Panaa Sankranti

Lord Sree Aakhandaleswar’s pahada (the holy sleep) breaks at 4 am at the dawn. After mukha prakhyalana (washing the face) and danta manjan (brushing teeth) the divine mangal aalati (celestial worship of god) starts. The chief worshiper of the temple prays and cordially requests the lord for the ablution. Mangala aalati is offered after naibedya. Then lord Aakhandaleswar appears with Digambar complexion and the nectar like Panchaa-mruta Gharshan ritual starts.

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This Gharsana which sweeps away all the vices and evils is called as PanaaGharshan ritual is celebrated every day in this temple, where as in other places it is celebrated only once in a year, in Panaa Sankranti.

Thousands of devotees visit to the temple on this occasion, because Gharshana on this occasion is unique and fruitful. Only on this occasion, Sebayats (the priests of this temple) offer Gharshan of their own expenses. In the evening different cultural programs are celebrated.

Chandan yatra
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In the month of Jyestha, when the existence of life becomes a difficult task due to intolerable heat of the hard sun, the Chandana Chaapa (the wholly boating) starts in Siva-Ganga (holly pond of Lord Aahkandaleswar). Chandrasekhar, the moving idol of Lord Sree Aakhandaleswar romances with goddess Parvati (wife of lord Aakhandaleswar and mother of the creation) in the boat being astride on Brusabha (ox).

The divine boating of Lord in the pond which is well decorated by the garlands of lights creates a heavenly atmosphere with the rhythm of devotional songs. It is really unbelievable. In the evening, the divine and substantial speech of the Charana Pandits (the persons who speak about the divinity of god, and have enough knowledge on god and religion) and other cultural programs increases specialty of the occasion. This occasion is celebrated for 21 days from Akhyaya Trutiya.

In these twenty one days of celebration, Chandan Purnima (full moon day) is the most important day of Chandan Yatra. According to the local belief, trough this divine boating Lord escapes from the intolerable heat of the summer. But in real, it is the suitable time for the congregation of human and god. The Lord himself comes out from the temple to appear before the devotees and to make the devotees free from all pain and agonies.

Siva Vibah (The wedding ceremony of Lord Siva)
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The wedding ceremony of Lord Siva is organized in the temple of lord Aakhandaleswar in the lunar month of Aasadha. According to the instructions described in Vedas, the marriage ceremony between goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva takes places. One of the priests of the temple performs the role of the father of the bride groom, and other the father of the bride. Then the priests fix the sacred moment to start the celestial marriage ceremony and welcome the bride groom with all respect and dignity.

All the gods, goddesses, human beings, demons, ghosts and witches are cordially invited to the sacred ceremony. With their accompaniment and beautiful decorations and procession, the marriage ceremony starts. This delightful procession starts from the home of the bride groom and continues to the home of the bride. Being sited on a palanquin, the moving idol of goddess Parvati, reaches at the well decorated pendal of Lord Aakhndaleswar.

Shiva Vibah (marriage ceremony of Lord Shiva) continues for the whole night and ends with emotional union of bride’s and bridegroom’s fathers. On behalf of this occasion, different cultural programs are arranged in this night. Different types of delicious foods and drinks are served to the guests.  The sacred occasion is completely arranged by the temple administration.

Shrabani Mahotshab
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The month Asadha takes farewell from the earth.  From the first Monday of the month of Shrabana, Shrabani Mahotsaba starts. Everywhere the voice “Jatiaa baba par karega” (Lord Shiva is the only way of salvation) echoes. From the different parts of the country, devotees come for the Jalaaviseka (the wholly ritual of pouring holy water on the deity) of Lord Aakhandaleswar. Kaaudias (devotees of Lord Shiva) collect the holy water from different rivers, carry it on their shoulders and come by walk to the temple of Lord Aakhandaleswar.

Their sweet voice ‘Bom Bom Bhole’ (devotees call Lord Shiva as Bam Bam Bhole with a great affection) echoes everywhere.

The beauty of the temple in the twilight of Shrabana Mahotsab cannot be described in words. In the evening, the temple administration decorates the temple in colourful lights and arranges programs of devotional songs speeches.
Kaaudiaa union serves food for the Kaaudiaas in free, and makes every arrangement for their treatment. This yatra starts from the fist Sunday of Shravana and ends in last Sunday. But according the Jagannath calendar it continues till to the full moon day of Shravana.

Jhulana Yatra
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From Shraban Ekadasi Jhulana Yatra starts; and it lasts till to the full moon day. Lord Aakhandaleswar’s moving deity Chandrasekhara (other name of Lord Shiva) with goddess Parvati come to the Jhulana Mandapa, (a kind of stage) being sited together on the Bhrusabha. In the beautiful evening of Shravan, with the sweet rhythm of devotional songs, the Jhulana Yatra starts.  This yatra which lasts for five days ends in Gahma purnima (a full moon day). This yatra is worth enjoying.

Ganesh Puja

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Lord Ganesh (son of goddesh Parvati and the one who destroys all problems of human life) is positioned on the Sankalpa Mandap. On this mandap Ganesh Puja takes place and the devotees do fasting on this occasion. Not only the priests of the temple but also the common people join in this puja and get blessings of Lord Ganesh.

Parban (Durga Puja)
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From Ganesh Puja, Paarbana starts. Durga Puja which is celebrated for sixteen days in the temple of Lord Aakhndaleswar starts from Mulaastami. The temple of goddess Knaka-Durga is situated at the southern part of the temple. Goddess Parbati is sited facing towards north. In the Garvagruha of Lord Aakhandaleswar, goddess Pavati and goddess Kanaka-Durga are sited on the throne. Here this ritual of sixteen days is celebrated with great joy and enjoyment. According to the ethics, the virgin, young and charming goddess Durga had killed the demon Mahisasura in sixteen days of war. Thus, this sixteen days ritual is meant for the charming goddess Durga whose age is considered to be around sixteen. The daily Chandi yagnya and sodasa upachara puja (the sixteen hundred ways of worshipping) with the sacred cultural program and the pravachana (devotional speech) make the evening heavenly.
Kalipuja & Deepavali Festival
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In Kartika Krushna Chaturdashi Depavali festival starts and in the dark midnight of aamabashya goddess Mahakali puja (worshiping) starts. Mahakali is located at the sourthern side of the temple. According to the ethics goddess Parvati has taken the form of Mahakali to destroy the devils and save the saints.
In Deepavali, the well decorated temple looks like a charming bride.

Kartika Purnima
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The festival kartika purmina has its own speciality among the rituals. In this ritual after the whole day of yagnya, lord Siva and goddess Parvati appear in the form of Hara-Gauri. Lord Siva and goddess Parvati’s idols (thermo cool made) sited on the throne just behind the place where Lord Siva has appeared in Bada-Sinhara complexion on a silver throne. The devotees can behold the Hara-Gauri complexion only on this day. The cultural programs arranged in the evening of Raasa Purnima (fool moon day) are really enjoyable. In this evening on the Sthayee Mandapa different types of songs and dances are performed.

Gita Jayanti
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Gita Jayanti is celebrated on the Sukla Trayodasi in the month of Aasadha. Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are one and indifferent. Lord Shiva is the supreme devotee of lord Vishnu. The temple becomes more heavenly with the discussion and enchanting of divine mantras of the wholly book Gita. Not only the priests but also the common devotees join in this program.
Maha Shiva Ratri (Jaagara)
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After the Krushna Trayodashi, on the Chaturdashi in the month of Falguna the famous Jagara Yatra is celebrated. The fruitfulness of the day is equivalent with all the rituals celebrated in the whole year. With the Aalati in the dawn, the king of Kanika offers Gharshan and Khichudi is offered after gharshan. Lord Shiva appears in Digambara complexion and a number of devotees comeS to behold the charming beauty of Digambar. The worshiping starts from the first prahara of Jagara. All the devotees and priests remain awake to perform Sodasa Upachar Abhisekh and yagnya. After the last prahara of worship and Abhisekh, the Mahasnana ritual starts. The priests pour one hundred and eight pots of water collected from the river Ganga on the deity of Lord Aakhndaleswar. Then lord Shiva is embellished with highly cost gold ornaments. Other gods and goddess wait eagerly to see this beautiful complexion of lord Shiva. This ornamented stunnings appearance of lord Shiva is priceless for all the gods, goddesses and human beings.
Different types of cultural programmes arranged by the temple administration are performed through out the night. The whole ritual of the temple and the stunning ornamented appearance of the Lord is directly telecast through television and shown through projector outside of the temple. This arrangement is done for the convinend of the huge mass of devotees. Around 4 am Maha Deepa Puja starts after Sodasa Upachara Puja. The Mahadeepa is prepared by the priests. According to the instructions described in Vedas, the devotees and priests move around the temple; finally sets deepa on the top of the temple. This Puja wipes away all the vices and evils of the devotees.

Dola Yatra

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On the fool moon day of Falguna Dola Yatra takes place in the temple of lord Aakhandaleswar. The moving deity of Lord Akhandaleswar and goddess come to Bhoga Mandapa being sited on the ox. On the Bhoga Mandapa, in night, they meet other gods and goddess who have come from the other places. Lord Shiva meets Lord Vishnu and goddess Parvati meets goddess Laxmi. At the meeting place, the new calendar of the New Year of the Hindus is recited and is fore granted.      
 
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