About the Book
Nabakalebara is one of the grandiloquent
events associated with the Jagannath temple of Puri.
It is a unique Hindu religious festival in many respects, which is beyond
normal human perception. Nabakalebara literally means-naba or new and kalebara or body-new
body. The new images take the place of old images and the old images are
discarded and buried under the ground. This is Nabakalebara
for Jagannath, the Lord (Natha) of the Universe (Jagata). In conformity with the belief
that Lord Jagannath is truly a 'Living Deity' with an
astonishingly ingenuous human touch, He moves through the life cycle of death
and birth sequences shedding His old body and getting into the new one in a
remarkably unique and mystic ceremony.
Nabakalebara takes place during the Adikamasa (intercalary month) of Ashadha,
when two lunar months of Ashadha fall in one year, as
per the Hindu almanac. Such a rare occasion usually occurs once in 12 years, but the gap may range
from 8 to 19 years. In the zoth century, Nabakalebara was
celebrated in 1912,
1931, 1950, 1969, 1977 and 1996.
millennium's first Nabakalebara festival is being
held in 2015. Elaborate rituals, numerous
myths and several celestial incidents are attached to this auspicious fair
which fans religious fervour across Odisha.
The present volume is a humble attempt in making
available to general readers a lucidly written and well illustrated book on
this festival. The book covers the event in all its complexity and will be
useful to both specialists as well as lay readers.
Born in 1949, Prof. Amiya Kumar Pattanayak is the former Vice Chancellor of Utkal
University of Culture, Bhubaneswar. A Ph.D. in history, he was earlier
professor in Behrampur University during 1994-2008.
Prof. Pattanayak has
authored six books and has edited/co-edited another fifteen. He has several
research papers to his credit published in various national and international
journals of repute. During 35 years of his teaching career, twenty scholars
have obtained their Ph.D.'s under his supervision and guidance.
Considered an expert on maritime history of Odisha, he has edited a book on the subject. Widely
travelled, he is closely associated with several national and international
academic organizations including UGC, New Delhi and NAAC, Bangalore.
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