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'Akshaya Tritiya' an auspicious day in Odisha: PM Modi

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Bhubaneswar, May 10 (PTI) Ahead of his Odisha visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday highlighted that 'Akshaya Tritiya' is an auspicious day in Odisha as chariot making of Lord Jagannath begins on this day for the annual Rath Yatra.

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Taking to X, Modi said: "Akshaya Tritiya is a very auspicious day in Odisha and for the great Odia culture. This is the day when the making of chariots begins for the Rath Yatra of Mahaprabhu Shri Jagannath. It is also closely linked with Akhi Muthi Anukula, when farmers start sowing seeds. May the blessings of Mahaprabhu Shri Jagannath always remain upon us." Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also greeted the people of Odisha on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya and wished good harvest this year.

Taking to X, Patnaik said: "My best wishes and congratulations to all on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya. With the blessings of Lord Shri Jagannath, may the farmers' first showing of seeds be auspicious. May a good harvest this year bring happiness and prosperity in everyone's life." Akshaya Tritiya is considered an auspicious festival in Odisha, which is observed in the Vaisakha month of the traditional Hindu calendar.

As per the traditional rituals of the farming festival, the farmers perform 'Akhi Muthi Anukula', the ritual of sowing seeds in their paddy fields after ploughing their lands.

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It is also a festival that celebrates wealth, prosperity and good fortune. It is believed that any investments made on this day will bring prosperity and good fortune. Farmers in the state carry a basket of seeds and sow those in their fields as part of the rituals during the festival.

On this day, the construction of chariots for the Puri Rath Yatra also starts. The day also is the beginning of Chandan Yatra, the longest festival observed at Jagannath Temple in Puri. It continues for 42 days and is observed in two parts: 'Bahara Chandana' and 'Bhitara Chandana'.

Bahara Chandana starts from Akshay Tritiya and continues for 21 days. The representative idols of the main deities of Jagannath Temple as well as five 'Shivalingas' known as the 'Pancha Pandava' are taken in a ceremonial procession from the 'Singhadwara' (Lions Gate) of the Jagannath Temple in Puri to the Narendra Tirtha tank.

The deities are taken to the Narendra pond located near the Jagannath Temple and are placed on decorated boats for an evening cruise of the tank. PTI AAM AAM RG

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