The famous Snana Yatra of Lord Jagannath has begun in Puri today. Snana Yatra is a ceremonial grand shower festival celebrated on the Purnima (full moon day) of the Hindu month of Jyeshtha.
In this festival the deities of Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra, are brought out from the Jagannath Temple and taken in a procession to the Snana Mandap inside the temple premises. Then the deities are ceremonially bathed in 108 pots of ritually purified water and decorated for a public audience.
In the evening, at the conclusion of the bathing rituals, Jagannath and Balabhadra are dressed up in elephant headgear representing the lord Ganesh. This is known as Gajavesha. After the Snana Yatra the Gods are traditionally believed to fall ill and are kept in a sick room to recuperate in privacy under the care of the Raj Vaidya.
This period known as Anasara, and in that period devotees are not allowed to see the Gods. At this time three pata chitra paintings are displayed for devotees to view instead. It is said that with the Ayurvedic medication administered by the Raj Vaidya the Gods recover in a fortnight .
This year, due to Corona pandemic it is being celebrated without public gathering.