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Chandan Yatra

Chandana-yatra is a festivity that runs for three weeks. To keep the Deities cool during time of scorching summer Sun, devotees apply sandalwood paste (chandana) over Radha Madhava and other Deities. All devotees including children and pilgrims are offered a chance to grind chandana for the pleasure of the Deities. During first week, both large and small Radha Madhava Deities are covered with chandana. During second and third week, small Radha Madhava Deities are entirely covered with chandana.

On the auspicious third day of the waxing moon in the month of Vaishaka, the festival of akshay tritiya, which is said to bestow all auspiciousness on any undertaking being started on this day, is observed all over India, to commemorate various pastimes of the lord. It is on this day that Lord Rishabh dev broke his one year fast, that he had been observing, by drinking sugar cane juice. Also it is said that when the Pandavas were in exile with Draupadi, after having lost in the unfair gambling match with the wicked duryodhana, they had an Akshay patra( a pot, the contents of which were inexhaustible till draupadi ate) and this was bestowed upon them on this auspicious day. 5000 years ago, when Srila Vyas dev, the literary incarnation of Krishna, wanted to start writing the fifth veda, the great epic Mahabharat, he implored Ganesh to be the scribe upon which Ganesh agreed to do as asked on the fulfillment of one condition. He informed Vyas dev that he wanted him to speak continuously without stopping or else he would leave writing. Vyas dev agreed to this but in return he too put up a condition that Ganesh should not write anything till he understands. When they reached an agreement, the auspicious day of Akshay tritya was chosen to start writing this great literature. The great devotee and friend of Lord Krishna, Sudama Vipra.

Chandan Yatra is one such opportunity to engage lovingly in the service of the Lord. During this festival, to beat the blazing heat of the summer, the Lord’s body is anointed with sandalwood paste. Only once in a year, devotees get this special darshan of Sri Prahlada Narasimha in Chandan Alankara. Starting from Ekadashi till the day before of Narasimha Jayanti, Lord will give darshan in Chandan Alankara. This year Chandan Yatra will be from May 22 to May 24, 2021.

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ISKCON Pandharpur