Gundicha Temple, Puri| Garden House Of Lord Jagannath

Gundicha Temple- Garden Temple Of Lord Jagannath

Gundicha Temple, also known as Gundicha Ghar, ‘Gundicha Mandir’ and ‘Sree Gundicha Temple’, is a Hindu temple and a popular tourist spot in the city of Puri in the state of Orissa.

Gundicha Temple is located at the other end of the great highway(Badadanda), at a distance of about three kilometers from Shri Mandir (MainTemple). Also it is considered as the Garden House of Lord Jagannath. It stands in the middle of a beautiful garden, with walls on all the sides. This temple is built in Kalinga architecture. It was built using light-grey sandstone in the Deula style and dedicated to Lord Jagannath’s aunt Gundicha.

Shree Gundicha Temple, Puri

It is believed to be the home of Lord Jagannath’s aunt Gundicha, where God stays here for 9 days during Jagannath Rath Yatra. Since the deities(Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra) travel from Jagannath temple to Sree Gundicha temple, and this Festival of Puri is also known as ‘Sree Gundicha Yatra’, where their aunt feeds them with Padopitha and welcomes them.

There are 4 major parts of this temple i.e. Vimana(tower structure containing the sanctum), Jagmohan (assembly hall), Nata-Mandapa (festive auditorium) and Bhoga Mandapa ( where devotees make offerings to Lord Jagannatha).

Gundicha Marjana:

A day before the Rath Yatra the Gundicha temple is cleaned. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu started the practice of cleaning of the Gundicha temple about 500 years ago. He believed that if we want to seize God in our mind, then first of all, we will have to sacrifice all kinds of filth from our mind. It is considered as mandatory to make your heart clean and blameless for devotion. In the same way, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu cleaned the dust accumulated in the Gundicha temple and after that he swept the temple 2 to 3 times with broom and water. After that, he cleans the temple with his own clothes, so that a little dust and mud does not appear there.

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Hera Panchami:

Hera panchami is one of the major ceremony, celebrated here during the Rath Yatra, which takes place on the fifth day of the Rath Yatra at Gundicha Temple. On this day, Lord Jagannath’s wife Mata Lakshmi comes from the temple as Subarna Mahalakshmi to this place with much fan fare. They are taken from the temple to the Gundicha temple in the palanquin, where the priests take them to the sanctury to meet Lord Jagannath. Suvarna Mahalakshmi urges Lord Jagannath to walk back to his Dham Shrimandir, the main temple of Puri. Lord Jagannath accepts his request and gives a garland to Mother Lakshmi as his consent. Then in the evening, Mata Lakshmi returns from the Gundicha temple to the Shri Mandira(main temple). Before returning to the main temple, she gets angry and orders one of her servants to damage a part of Nandigosh (Jagannath’s chariot). This is called as Ratha bhanga (chariot break). 

Gundicha Temple Of Puri

Dakshina Moda:

The next day of Hera Panchami i.e. on the sixth day of the Rath Yatra, a South Diversion program takes place, in which all the three Chariots are diverted from the West towards the South. This is a preparation for Bahuda Yatra.

Sandhya Darshan and Mahaprasad:

When Lord Jagannath comes to his aunt’s house, the prasad is not made in the kitchen of the temple. Prasad is made in the kitchen of Gundicha temple. A day before the Bahuda Yatra is important for the devotees. On this day, thousands of devotees throng to the temple for darshan and receive prasad.

Bahuda Yatra:

Bahuda yatra is the the return journey of the deities (Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra) to the Shri Mandira (main temple) from Gundicha temple. On this day, the Lords are brought back to the main Temple

Legends:

According to legends, Gundicha was the queen of the King Indradyumna, the legendary founder of the 1st great Jagannath temple. It is because of the heartly devotion of the queen Gundicha, Lord Jagannath promises to pay a visit to her house for nine days during Car Festival.
According to another legend, this temple is also called the birth place of God. Because here on this platform called Mahavedi, the divine craftsman Vishwakarma had revealed the Deity of Lord Jagannath, Baldev and Goddess Subhadra with Darubrahm according to the wish of King Indra. Then the temple is named after Gundicha Rani (wife of King Indra) as Gundicha Mandir.

A large number of devotees visit the Gundicha temple at the time of the Rath Yatra, otherwise the temple receives a normal number of devotees throughout the year. And the Jagannath temple administration is looked after by this temple.

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