Sunday 29 March 2015

Banajaga Yatra And Nabakalebara in Puri, Odisha

Lord Ram's birth is celebrated as Ram Navami. It was celebrated yesterday.

During the birth month of Lord Ram i.e. in Chaitra, in Puri, Odisha, India, there are processions with the idols of Lord Ram, Sita & Laxman. There are grand celebrations for 15 days. This is called 'Sahi Jata'. In Odia language, 'Sahi' means locality/street. There is a 'Jatra' /'Yatra'- procession where people wear masks and costumes and there is theatre sort of Odia RamLeela. Residents of different localities of Puri have been taking part in this since 1230 AD:
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Sahi Jata at Puri, Odisha ; Source
Puri in Odisha, India, is famous for the Shree Jagannath Temple. It is an important place of worship for Hindus.

This year, the Banajaga Yatra starts at Puri from today, i.e. March 29th. It is the first act in the Nabakalebara process in which the Daru or sacred Neem trees/wood is identified. 

The idols of Lord Jagannath and His siblings are to be carved out of the same auspicious wood as per centuries-old customs and rituals. This is called Nabakalebara.

Naba means New & Kalebara means Body.

Official Logo of Nabakalebara 2015
Lord Jagannath means the Lord of the Universe. He is believed to be a living God.

The second verse of the second Chapter of Srimat Bhagavat Gita mentions:
"...vāsāḿsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛhṇāti naro 'parāṇi
tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāny
anyāni saḿyāti navāni dehī..."
English Translation: As a person puts on new garments by giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material bodies by giving up the old and useless ones.

Lord Jagannath and His siblings will get new bodies this year.

Puri is a very popular tourist destination. It is also famous for its beautiful beach and super Sand Art.

Internationally-acclaimed sand-artist, Shri Sudarsan Pattnaik created this amazing Sand Art at Puri beach to highlight the start of the Banjaga Yatra for Nabakalebara 2015.
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Sand Art by eminent sand-artist Shri Sudarsan Pattnaik at Puri beach, Odisha. Art depicts #Nabakalebara - when new idols of Lord Jagannath & His siblings are carved. In the above Pic (From Right-to-Left)- Sudarshan Chakra, Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra, Lord Balabhadra and Shri Sudarsan Pattnaik

Nabakalebara is a rare festival of Odisha. This year, it is happening after a gap of 19 years.
July 18th 2015 will be the Nabakalebara Rath Yatra.

Some important dates-
– June 15- Brahma Parivartan programme
– July 17- the Netrosav and Nabajouban besa of the new deities
– July 18- the Rath Yatra or the Car Festival
– July 26- Bahuda Yatra

Have you planned to visit Puri, Odisha, India?
Book your tickets for July 2015.

Note- Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) has a special package for Nabakalebara 2015.
For more information about #Nabakalebara check out the official site-


  1. Hi.
    I am a follower of Lord Jagannath. Loved your post
    I have been to Puri. It is an awesome place.

    1. Thanks for stopping by & for your appreciation, Swati :)
      Nice to learn that you have visited Puri. It's a great place indeed.

  2. Great to know more about this festival :-)

    1. Thanks for reading. Glad to know, Amrit :)

  3. Nice to know about the place and the festival.

  4. Very interesting! Have seen the Jagannath temple and have some lovely memories of the place!

    1. Nice to know that you have been to Puri, Rahulji :) Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for d share.. I miss these things so much stayin away from home..
    Such posts bring warmth

    1. Truly Ananya.
      We miss when we are away. Do visit when you are here :)

  6. Thanks for sharing... Very informative...
    I hope that you had a great time...

    1. Thanks Satya.
      Hope to be a part of the Banjaga Yatra and the Nabakalebara.
      The Nabakalebara ceremony is in July this year.

  7. Beautiful sand structures! Anita. I wish you a great week.
    Wil, ABCW

    1. Talented people like Sri Pattnaik create such beautiful Sand-art. Glad you liked it, Wil!
      Thanks a lot. Wish you a great week.

  8. Truly, Ash!
    Sri Sudarsan Pattnaik has won many international awards and made our India proud with his amazing Sand-art.
    May the Lord invite you to Puri soon.
    Do let me know when you come :)

  9. Thanks for sharing, really fascinating!

  10. I remember, your mention about Nabakalebara in one of your previous posts... Amazed to know that the new body taken up by the Lord and his siblings are made of neem tree! Usually, it will be of raktachandana or shrigandha (sandalwood) right? Amazing! Glad you are sharing such wonderful information with us, dear :)

    Nice to learn about the international level sand artist... He has beautifully portrayed the Lord and his siblings :)

  11. Nice content...i liked reading this..

  12. Thank you for sharing the information.
    Incredible sand art.Great talent.

  13. Nabakalebara 2015 is this century's first idol change ritual. Lakhs of devotees will gather in this holy place in this auspicious occasion. You have written up well. Thanks for all this detailed information. I feel proud that I was also a part of this occasion. Sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik has done a fabulous job by creating such incredible sand art of the deities. Deities will be adorned with their new body after so long years & the devotees are curious enough to see the new idols.


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