Home ART & CULTURE Dola Purnima: Odisha celebrates the festival of colours with Lord Jagannath

Dola Purnima: Odisha celebrates the festival of colours with Lord Jagannath


Bhubaneswar: The doors of Srimandir in Odisha’s Puri will open at 3 am on Dola Purnima today as per the ritual schedule finalized by Sri Jagannath Temple Administration.

Dola Purnima is a Hindu festival of paramount importance and the deities inside the sanctum sanctorum of Jagannath temple are decked up in gold jewellery embellished with diamond and gems. This ritual is popularly known as Raja Dhiraj Besa or Suna Besa.

On this day, Lord Jagnnath is worshipped as Dola Govinda and is placed along with Goddess Sridevi on the dola bedi (altar).

The Raja Dhiraja Besa ritual at the temple will be performed between 8 am and 9.30 am and the deities will then proceed to the altar between 10 am and 11 am, when the sevayats and devotees will apply colours to them.

Picture Courtesy: jagannath dham.in

On completion of all rituals on dola bedi, the deities will return to the temple at 9 pm the same day, the schedule added.

Celebrated on the full-moon day in the month of Falguna, the festival is very popular in the coastal districts of Odisha.

On this occasion, the annual new Odia ‘panjis’ is read out to deities in villages. The idol of village deities, especially of Lord Krishna, is carried to all homes on a decorated veemana (palanquin). The people carrying the idols and those following it smear each other with abira (dry colours).

Picture Courtesy: travel Themes

The procession led by village drummers, pipers and Sankirtana Mandalis, halts in front of each household and the deity is offered bhog.

The celebration culminates in a swing festival for the deities. The idols carried in veemanas from a number of villages assemble at Melana Padia, where swings are fixed on a platform. They are made to swing to the accompaniment of devotional music sung in chorus.

As per ancient texts, one who gets a glimpse of Krishna swaying in the swing is expiated of all sins.

Dola Jatra is also celebrated as a victory of good over evil. As per Hindu mythology, demon king Hiranyakashyap who won over earth commanded everyone to worship him. However, his son Prahallad – an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu – defied him.

This defiance infuriated Hiranyakashyap who hatched a conspiracy to eliminate the kid with the help of his sister Holika. She planned to enter the fire with Prahallad on her laps as she had a boon which insulates her from the fire. However, she was unaware that it would work only for her.

Picture Courtesy: mypoojabox

While Holika along with Prahallad entered the fire, she had to pay with her life for the sinister design. Holika Dahan signifies the victory of good over evil.

The festival of colours, thus, derives it name from Holika and it is celebrated a day after Dola Purnima.