This festival is explained in detail in Sri Caitanya-caritamrita(Antya-lila, Chapter 6). Panihati is located near Kolkata. Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami was previously a householder and wanted to join the personal association and service of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Jagannatha Puri. However, his father prevented Raghunatha Dasa from doing so. After several failed attempts, Raghunatha Dasa heard that Lord Nityananda Prabhu had arrived at Panihati. In order to receive the Lord’s causeless mercy, Raghunatha Dasa went to take His darsana.
When Lord Nityananda saw Raghunatha Dasa, he ordered him to prepare and serve all of His associates with chida-dahi, flat rice mixed with yoghurt. In order to please the Lord, Raghunatha Dasa immediately carried out His order by preparing and distributing large quantities of chida-dahi to the Vaishnavas as well as thousands of others who had arrived on the spot upon hearing that a festival was on at Panihati. Finally, Lord Nityananda blessed, and ordered His associates to bless, Raghunatha Dasa, that he will be successful in attaining the personal association and service of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
To remember this pastime, Panihati Chida-dahi utsav is celebrated in all the ISKCON temples, every year. In the evening, Sri Sri Gaura Nitai are carried on a pallaki for Udyan-Vihar to the sacred pond inside the temple premises. The deities are taken on Nauka-vihar in the pond. The deities are then shifted to the main temple hall where they receive a grand abhishekam. This is followed by pravachan and soul stirring bhajans & kirtans with many hundreds of devotees participating in the festival. The festival ends with massive distribution of chida-dahi.
This year we are celebrating Sri Panihati Chida-dahi Festival on Friday, 2nd June 2023.