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Snana Yatra Festival at Puri Jagannath Temple – Bathing Ritual of Deities

Snana Yatra, or Snanayatra, is observed on the full moon day (Purnima) in the month of Jyeshtha (June – July) at the famous Puri Jagannath Temple in Orissa. In 2012, the date of Snana Yatra is June 4. On this day, the idols of Jagannnatha, Balabhadra, Subhadra are bathed. This is also the first occasion in the course of a year in Oriya calendar when the deities come out of the temple.

Snana Yatra takes place around 15 days before the famous Rath Yatra. The ritual bathing of the deities take place at the Snana Bedi located in the northeastern compound of the Puri Temple complex. 108 pots of water are poured on the idols and after this the deities enter into Anavasara or Anasara.

For the next fifteen days, devotees are not allowed the darshan of the idols. It is believed that the deities catch fever after a long ritual bathing and therefore does not return to sanctum sanctorum for the next fifteen days. During this period, the Sabara daitas repaint the idols.

The three idols are brought to the sanctum sanctorum on the new moon day in the month of Ashadha.