February 9, 2015

#Nabakalebara 2015 at #Puri #Odisha

Nabakalebara is among the most unique and rare festivals of the Lord in the world. In the Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krishna has conveyed- "The body will get destroyed upon death. But just as we change into new clothes from old, so also the immortal soul will simply enter into new bodies but will never itself get destroyed".

Nabakalebara Logo from Odisha Tourism Website (Official Source)

Encompassing this deep-seated Hindu belief is the inimitable, one-of-its-kind festival in the entire world, called Nabakalebara. Naba means new and kalebara means body. Lord Jagannath is the presiding deity of Puri, Odisha who is considered as a Vishnu Avatar or a form of Lord Krishna.
He is in fact embraced by most religions like Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Christianity and other sects of Hinduism like Shaivism as well due to strong symbolisms attached to Him. He is truly a Secular Lord. One of His greatest devotees was Salabega, a Muslim man. 

So, Nabakalebara is the manifestation of the Lord changing His body-like undergoing re-birth. Old idols will be discarded by burying at Koili Vaikuntha and new idols of Lord Jagannath and his siblings- Balabhadra, Subhadra as well as of Sudarshana, who is the celestial wheel of the Lord, will be made. The festival will occur over a period of almost four months starting from search for sacred Neem trees of which idols will be made, from March 29, 2015. 

Sand Art depicting sacred logs and Lord Jagannath; Source

 Over 50 lakh devotees are expected to pour in during this time period. The last Nabakalebara happened in 1996. So, after 19 years the sacred  Joda Ashadha (or two Ashadha months back to back) are falling as per Hindu calendar. Thus, Nabakalebara festival will be held this year, followed by Rath Yatra. Read these informative links for more details:


Puri, the beautiful beach town in Eastern India's Odisha state, and the sacred abode of Lord Jagannath, is among one of the four major Dhams (pilgrimage centres) for Hindus. Four Dhams are located in each of the chief directions of our holy, ancient land India- in the north, Badrinath (in Uttarakhand state); in west, Dwaraka (Gujarat); in south, Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu) and in the east, Puri (Odisha).

Left to Right: Lord Balabhadra, Goddess Subhadra, Lord Jagannath; Background: Shri Jagannath Temple; Source

In fact, Puri is the place where the Lord literally chills out by having his food and enjoyment! Puri's Shri Jagannath Temple boasts of the largest kitchen in the world where Chhappan or 56 Bhog is prepared daily to offer to the Lord. Over 10K people eat hot, divine food said to be touched by Goddess Mahalaxmi Herself, only after which the delightful aroma spreads out in every direction from this holy food called Mahaprasad. It is said that how many ever people crowd Puri, be they 10K or 100K, but everyone who desires to take Mahaprasad will get it and will feel completely full and satisfied. This food is specially prepared with only desi (or fully Indian origin) vegetables and fruits. So, for example, tomato, cauliflower, potato etc. are all excluded as they were originally imported into India.


If you thought Puri is the chilling place only for the Lord and not for you, you are mistaken! For, Puri is a paradise for tourists around the year! Puri has delightful Lassi, various types of souvenirs of Lord, many beautiful shell items, superb seafood and a wonderful beach which is thronged by tourists all the time! Adding to its charm is its favourable location near Konark, where world famous Sun Temple is present- a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

UNESCO World Heritage Site- Konark Sun Temple; Source

In fact, Puri-Konark-Bhubaneswar form a Golden Triangle of tourism in Odisha, which is a must visit for its architectural wonders and splendid, pristine beaches (in Konark and Puri). 

Tourist Destination - Orissa

Every year glorious events like International Sand Art Festival, Konark Dance Festival (both during 1st to 5th December in Konark), Rajarani Music Festival and Mukteswar Dance Festival (both held back to back during first fortnight of January in Bhubaneswar), Dhauli Kalinga Mahotsav (held during first week of February in Bhubaneswar), International Buddhist Conference (held during January or February each year in specified amazing Buddhist venues of Odisha), recently concluded highly successful India Surf Festival at Ramchandi beach near Konark (6 to 8 February 2015) and many more festivals (Puri Beach Festival, Sisir Saras Bhubaneswar and so on) add to the attraction quotient of this lively Golden Triangle.



2015 is a special year due to Lord's unique Nabakalebara event. People must make it to Odisha especially during July 2015 to witness the peak of rituals associated with the Lord. He is so much like us- He has His bath, eats sumptuously, falls ill, has Ayurvedic medicine, enjoys visiting all His devotees during Rath Yatra annually, has so many different Beshas (different clothing for various auspicious days of Hindu calendar) and also undergoes burial and rejuvenation. Truly, Lord Jagannath is Purushottam- the most Uttam (perfect or ideal) among all Purusha (people).

Welcome to Odisha, the magical Land of Lord Jagannath! This is your rare chance to get rejuvenated with the Lords this year, in this beautiful ancient land



**Linking to Letter 'E' of ABC Wednesday (encompassing, embraced, events, eat, enjoy)


  1. Great to know this.
    Convey my prayers if you are going.

    1. Thanks a lot Indrani! Yes I definitely will! :)

  2. Wonderfully expressed, Amrita.
    You have presented the relevant details. Very informative & helpful :)

  3. Such a detailed and informative post, I was lucky to go to Puri last year...feel blessed. Thanks for sharing this :)

  4. Loved the post Amrita !
    Puri is certainly in my list of "must go" noit only as atourist destination but for pure spritual reasons... I loved the concept of NabaKalebara... pronounced in Hindi as Nav-Kalevar.. the term I am familiar with but this concept is new to me .. thanks for this wonderful post :)

    1. Thanks a lot Kokila! :) Yes it is a completely spiritual journey....it'll metamorphose one & all!

  5. enterprising scope of excellent ideas.


  6. What an amazing architecture in all these temples. I have had a few of the 56 dishes and they are absolutely amazing!

    1. That's lovely! Surely come back again to have divine experience & food! :D


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