The Puri Beach Festival :
The Puri Beach Festival is one of the most important and valued festival on the land of Orissa. It gives a rich and high cultural heritage of the modern lifestyle. Along with the Goa festival, the Puri beach festival is celebrated grandly and it has very vibrant and positive energy of its own. Here, enjoyment is guaranteed and every single moment is precious worth not missing it.
The Puri Beach Festival is of 5 days during the November month on the beautiful and vast Puri beach which is popular as the famous tourist destination spot and also the Pilgrimage destination place. As the festival season arrives, the popular Beach of Puri gets turned into vibrant colors and beautiful decoration all around the beach. The festival gives a chance to all the visitors to get acquainted with the culture of orissa who has the radical attitude that is changing slowly. Apart from this, they are very conservative and believe deeply in religion.
Along with the backdrop of Lord Jagannath Temple it directs the skyline. Puri Beach festival is the showcase of Orrians and a well preserved talent that belongs to India. Orissa is being the beautiful blend that includes many crazy cultural environments, folk and classical dance, sand sculptures, food festivals and handicrafts to dazzling rock performances, beach parties, DJ’s and the fashion shows. Puri Beach festival is beautifully blended with such ingredients to establish this festival as huge and an International Festival.
The festival has a start with the pleasant Vande Matatam. The Puri beach festival always welcomes you to blend with the rich culture. Come and enjoy, nod your head with the brilliant music and Black Sabbath. Make your feet tap on the local performances, get the tempting feast and luscious cuisines that belongs to Orissa and also to that of India. Make shopping, buy the beautiful clothes and very creative handicrafts stores or you can also watch the wonderful performances done by the Lepcha, Odissi and Lambadi and tap the feet’s till the time you don’t break down.
It is very easy and quite convenient to travel to the Puri Beach Festival. There are many packages, gives you a chance to have fun and enjoy to the fullest on beach which is considered as sacred for Hindus as it is well known among all the beaches in India and all the swimming enthusiasts are welcome here.
Ministry of Tourism, The Dept. of Tourism, Govt. of Orissa, Development commissioners of Handicrafts, the Eastern Zonal Cultural Center, Kolkata and is also conducted by the Hotel and the Restaurant Association, Orissa has co - sponsored this puri beach festival is quite famous amongst the International tourist.
Ram Navami :
During the time, Ravan, the King of the huge palace Lanka was terrorizing the common people and all were praying for the liberation of their families from the drastic menace that was done by Ravan. Ravan was successful in achieving great powers from Lord Brahma. That says the raven cannot die from the hands of lords, ghandharvas, or even the demons. As he was unafraid of his death, he was always slave to the common people. So, Lord Brahma announced that raven would die from the hands of a common man. Then the others lords went to the Lord Vishnu, and requested him that, Dasarath is a brave and glorious king of this place. They requested him to take birth from the three queens of four that could match up with their dignity. When king Dasharatha’s was about to leave this world, there appears a shining and beautiful figure in the sacrificial kund who offered a divine beverage to the king well known as “Payasam” that he demanded to be offered to the queen Kaikayi, Kausalya and Sumitra. In the course of time, Kausalya delivered Rama, Kaikayi gave birth to Bharat and Sumitra gave birth to Shatrughan and Laxman. Rama was born on an auspicious occasion at the noon on the ninth day on the month of Chaitra. It was firmly believed that Lord Rama was an embodiment of the Vishnu’s divinity.
There were four storeys - even the actual Ravan may not be as tall as this. But as this is Kalyuga, evil is also supposed to be in the terrifying form. Ravana was having glory at this month and then there was birth of the Lord Rama which is celebrated as Ram Navami.
The huge 10 headed Ravana came to town having a huge crown on his head, a very well built moustache and shouted so loudly that no one could miss his voice. But then the Ravana reached his actual destination deserted along with most of the followers after the appearance of Lord Rama.
There was a huge fight in between Lord Rama and Ravana. Rama engaged him in the fight and finally made a point that he pierced a forceful arrow inside him. And then the huge Ravana burst into the ground which further resulted in the varied fire crackers, the village was full enlightened and thousand bits of exposure and cheers from thousand of people and chorus of Jai Shree Ram. Ram Navami is celebrated as the most important of Rama Navami.
Rama Navami comes on the 9th day of Shukla Paksha or you can say the brightest phase of the moon in Chaitra month. The Ugadi or the 1st day of Chaitra also marks the commencement of Hindu New Year.
Rama is considered to be one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu amongst his 12 avatar and most popular just like the avatar of Krishna. Even though ram Navami is celebrated grandly but not like the Dusshera and the Diwali.
It is celebrated and many followers of Lord Shiva also kept a fast as a tradition on this auspicious occasion. The devotees who are more involved in the faith, keeps their fast for 9 days right from Ugadi to Rama Navami. The main objective of the fast is to seek perfection in the form of human being and to ask for some special blessing. Sacred places in India have a deep association with the Rama and Ayodhya, Rameshwaran and the Ujjain that draws around 10 thousand devotees each year.
Puri Rath Yatra :
Puri is located on the eastern region of Orissa. This place has immense religious and historic significance. It has a moderate temperature all throughout the year with the beautiful scenery all around. It is most popular as the Konark temple or the Jagannath Puri. Chilka Lake which is one of the largest brackish lakes in the world resides on this ground that has many of the migrating birds nesting on its ground.
Orissa is very popular for the Rath Yarta in Puri which is held every year. This festival is totally dedicated to the lord Jagannatha who is believed to be the incarnation of two deities known as Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu. This Yatra is of 9 days. It has a beautiful and a colorful Jagannath Yatra that many tourists not only from India but also from all over the world. On the very first day of the Yatra, the idol of Lord Krishna and the Lord Jagannath’s brother named Balabhadra and sister named Subhadra are taken from Gundicha Temple which is around 2 kilometers from actual Jagannaths temple.
On the last day i.e. on the 9th day, the statues of the lords are brought back to its original position. Lakhs of the pilgrims do visit this place during the Yatra and is considered highly religious and auspicious.
The raja or the king of the Puri came to the temple on an elephant that is well decorated with lots of jewelry on him along with the thunderous sound of gongs. The raja believes that he is sevak or the servant of the god and pulls the ropes of the rath. The first rope that is taken out is the blue in color well considered as rope of Balaramas. After this, the Subhadras Rath is to be followed which is black in color. The last one is the Krishnas rope that comes with in Yellow colour. Pulling the rope or even touching it is considered to be very auspicious and the people present there struggle a lot to do so. It is believed that a person is lucky if he watches the all the rath moving towards the south and has been offered a magnificent salvation from God.
New Chariots or the raths are compiled every year. The older chariots are broken down into small pieces and are further used for Kitchen or are given to the believers. Stories also revealed the truth that the death under the wheels of the chariot will lead them to the eternal peace.
Orissa is very famous for Odissi dance, beautiful paintings, patta paintings and the shell craft that attracts many of the visitors from the entire world. While there is Puri Rath Yatra, all these activities flourish in a huge amount in this region.