Chandan Yatra is celebrated in the months of April-May on Akshaya Trutiya. On his day, the deities are worshipped with sandalwood paste. This Yatra also marks the beginning of construction of the Chariots for the Rath Yatra. The festival is celebrated in two parts firstly as “Bahara Chandana” and later as “Bhitara Chandana”, and goes on for a total of 42 days.
The Bahara Chandana begins from Akshaya Tritiya and is held at the Narendra Tirtha tank. This festival goes on for a total of 21 days and embarks the construction of the Rath Yatra chariots for the annual event.
On the initial 21 days the idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra as well as five Shivalingas (Pancha Pandava) are taken from Singhadwara (Lion Gate of the Jagannath temple) to the Narendra Tirtha tank. As soon as the rituals are completed the deities are placed on decorated boats for an evening cruise across the tank.
The Bhitara Chandana celebrates the last 21 days that comprises rituals held in the premises of the temple itself. The jubilations showcase playful ride on four occasions namely Amavasya, full moon night, Shashti and Ekadashi.