MAJOR FAIRS AND FESTIVALS
ORISSA is not only an ideal choice for momuments, beaches, waterfalls
and scenic beauties but also for here colourful fairs and festivals
The festivals are as numerous as the days in a year, each with a
difference having an individuality of its own culminating in the grand Car Festival of
Through this chapter, we present some of the major Fairs &
Festivals of Orissa and you are welcomes to enjoy them.
MAKARMELA (January) : Makar Sankranti is celebrated with gusto
in mid-January when the Sun enters the orbit of capricon. Sun God is worshipped with great
fervour and enthusiasm by one and all. The festival can be best enjoyed at Kalijai (an
island in Chilika), Atri, Ghatgaon, Keonjhar, Jashipur and Jagatsinghpur.
MEGHA MELA ( January February) : The most popular and
colourful festival of Konark, an occasion for a grand congregating of Indian pilgrims and
enthusiasts from abroad, falls on the 7th day of the bright half of
Magha. The Indian pilgrims talk only dips in the Chandrabhaga Tirtha near the
sea and wecome the rising Sun with prayers.
Also a grand fair is held at Khandagiri near Bhubaneswar on the same
day which continues for about a week.
MAHA SHIVARATRI (February-March) : The festival
"Shivas Great Night" falls on the 14th day of the dark half of
Phalgun and is observed by devotees all over the country. Devotees keep fast and perform
puja throughout the night and keep a vigil 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
one of Orissas beggest fairs, talks place on each Tuesdays of the month of
Chaitra i.e. from around mid-March to mid-April at Taratarini Pitha 30
km from Berhampur. A grand congregation takes place on the 3rd Tuesday.
ASHOKASTAMI (April): The Car Festival of Lord Lingaraj at
Bhubaneswar, Ashokastami is held in the bright half of Chaitra. The protégé
of Lord Lingaraj is taken in a chariot from the main temple to Rameswar Temple and return
after a four-day stay.
CHAITRA PARBA (April) : The Chaitra Parba or
Chhau Festival commences from 10th/11th April every year
and continues for three days concluding on Mahavishuva Sankranti Day at
Baripada. This is a festival of festivals which is enjoyed by the people of the country
and the enthusiasts from abroad.
SITALASASTHI (May-June) : The celebration of marriage ceremony
of Lord Shiva with Parvati starts with the untying of the wedding knot of the divine
couple. Devotees act as their parents to perform the marriage. The bridegrooms
procession popularly known as Barat starts from the 5th night of
the bright half of Jyestha and the marriage is performed in the traditional manner.
The festival is celebrated at Sambalpur and Bhubaneswar in gorgeous
RATHA YATRA ( June-July) : Ratha Yatra, Known as Car
Festival is the grandest of all festivals in Orissa. It is the sacred journey of
Lord Jagannath with brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra from the main Jagannath Temple
to another shrine called Gundicha Mandir for nine days. It begins from the 2nd
day of the bright half of "Asadha" which falls in June-July every year.
Thousands and thousands of devotees from all over India and abroad throng on that day at
Puri to Pull the sacred Chariots.
DURGA PUJA (September-October) : Durga Puja symbolises the
commemoration of good over evil. Life comes to a stand-still in the city of Cuttack as
crowds pour over the Puja Mandaps to enjoy the festivities. On the day succeeding
Vijaya Dasami, the last day of Dussera, the images are taken in a spectacular
procession for immersion in the river Kathajodi.
LAKSHMI PUJA (September-October) : Observed with much pomp and
ceremony in Dhenkanal town, it commences from the fullmoon day of Aswin and continues for
a period f one week.
BEACHFESTIVAL (November5-9) : Puri, the abode of Lord Jagannath,
is a wounderful beach resort for leisure tourists. It is known for its thirteen major
festivals of Lord Jagannath celebrated every year. But the new Tourist festival known as
Puri Beach Festival hald from 5th-9th November each year
has come to limelight in recent times.
BALIYATRA (November-December) : To commemorate the glorious past
of commercial voyages to the islands of Bali, Java and Sumatra by Orissan Trader, a big
fair called Bali Yatra is held on Mahanadi river bank at Cuttack on the
fullmoon day of Kartik.
KONARK FESTIVAL (December 1-5) : A festival of classical dance
forms performed by the celebrated danseurs of the country on the Open Air Auditorium set
amidst the casuarina grove against the back drop of Sun Temple, a World Heritage Monument.
During the festival evenings the atmosphere is surcharged with rhythmic dancing beats and
DHANU YATRA ( December-January) : Dhanu Yatra relating to the
episode of Lord Krishnas visit to Mathura to witness the ceremony of "Bow"
is colourfully observed 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 Gopa.
Different acts of the Puranic descriptions are performed at their right places and the
spectators move from place to place with the actions to see the performance.