C handan yatra is the festival wherein sandalwood (chandan) paste is applied to Deities to keep Them cool. It runs for three weeks. This year the festival started on 21st April. Devotees and visitors at ISKCON Mayapur have been daily making sandalwood paste on stone grinder below Radha Madha Deities. Infact, sandalwood grinding started even before the actual start of festival.
Like past years, Deities of Radha Madhava, Nrsimhadev and Panca Tattva are being decorated with chandan paste. Deities of Radha Madhav have been a special attraction as a different pastime of Lord Krsna is depicted daily on the altar along with written explanation.
Also, during the first week of Chandan yatra (21st to 27th April), there was boat festival for Sri Sri Radha Madhava. Every evening around 5:30 PM, the small Sri Sri Radha Madhava deities (uttsava-murti) were brought in a procession amidst kirtana to the lake at Srila Prabhupada’s Pushpa Samadhi Mandir. They were then placed on a boat, offered an Aarti and taken on ride around the lake. Devotees brought hundreds of food offerings prepared out of love for Their Lordships. These were offered to Lord in several rounds.
Sandhya arati also took place accompanied with jubilant dancing by some of assembled devotees. Some devotees offered ghee lamps and fireworks for the pleasure of Their Lordships while many others participated by simply witnessing the festival. After the boat pastimes, Sri Sri Radha Madhava were placed on a swing and swung in Jhulan with devotees chanting bhajans before them. Bhajans like Radha Krsna prana mora, Jai Radhe Jai Krsna truly made Mayapur like Vrindavan although we know the two are non different.
You can view the images of Boat festival by clicking here: Boat festival gallery
View daily darsan of Their Lordships during the festival by clicking: Chandan yatra darsan
Chandan yatra festivities ki jaya!! Hare Krishna!!