Exploring Jagannath Temple Puri – Odisha Tourism|Char Dham

Jagannath Temple Puri

Exploring Jagannath Temple Puri – Odisha Tourism | Char Dham – Best In Odisha

Today We’re sharing with you the scenic beauty of one of those Char dhaams, the pilgrimage that every Hindu intend to visit once in his/her lifetime which is located in Odisha. Any guesses? Yes, Today’s blog is about the world famous Puri Jagannath Temple (commonly known as Sri Khetra, Chakra Tirtha). Let’s get into it.

Jagannath Temple Puri
Jagannath Temple Puri

Ancient History of Jagannath Temple:

Shree Jagannath Temple(commonly known as Bada Deula) of Puri is a foremost hindu temple completely devoted to Lord Jagannath, a form of Lord Vishnu, located on the eastern coast of India in the state Odisha. According to the recently discovered copper plates from Ganga Dynasty, this Temple was constructed( 858,c.1161) by the former ruler of Kalinga(prehistoric name of Odisha), Anantavarma Chodaganga. The Jagmohan and the vimana portions of the temple were built during his reign. (1078-1148CE)

Puri Jagannath Temple was attacked rapidly 18 times by Hindu and Muslim rulers, from the 4th century AD till the early 19th century with the objective of looting the treasures of the temple. Odisha, including Puri and its temple, were part of British India  from 1803 till India achieved independence in August 1947. The heirs of the Gajapati Dynasty of Khurda still perform the ritual duties of the temple although kingly states do not exist in India today. The temple town has so many Hindu religious monasteries and mathas.

The Puranas (very lengthy and detailed works in Sanskrit containing accounts of ancient Indian history, culture, mythology, religion, etc.) present supplement accounts related to the origin of Jagannatha in an atmosphere of mystery and divine inspiration.

  • The Deities:

Lord Jagannath ,is a part of a triad along with his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra. The temple is home to 3 deities i.e. Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Balabhadra, and sister Subhadra ; whose significantly sized wooden idols sit on a throne. Balabhadra is six feet tall, Jagannatha is five feet, and Subhadra is four feet tall.The deities are buried from every 14 to 18 years, one above another, replaced by new ones.

Puri Jagannath Temple

Lord Jagannath, regarded as the Lord of the Universe, is a form of Lords Vishnu and Krisha. He is the presiding deity of Odisha and is overally worshiped by most households in the state. The culture of Jagannath worship is an unique and unifying one that promotes tolerance, communal harmony, and peace.

Based on the char dhaam, Lord Vishnu dines at Puri (he bathes at Rameswaram, gets dressed and anointed at Dwarka, and meditates at Badrinath). Therefore, a great deal of significance is given to food at the temple. Lord Jagannath permits his devotees to partake in eating the 56 items that are offered to him which is popularly known as Mahaprasad, as a means of redemption and spiritual advancement.

  • Extraordinary Facts about this Temple :
  • The flag on the top of the temple has been observed to flap in the opposite direction of the breeze.
  • No matter whatever and where you are in Puri, it seems to you that the Sudarshana Chakra on top of the temple is always facing you.
  • Usually in coastal areas during the day-time, the breeze blows from the sea towards the land and during evening hours it blows from the land towards the sea. But in the case of Puri it is an alter.
  • No birds fly aloft the Puri Jagannath temple.
  • The main dome’s shadow of Jagannath temple is invisible, whatever be the time of day. It maybe an architectural feat or the Lord’s desire.
  • The food prepared inside the temple everyday never goes waste.
  • When You enter the temple from the entrance of Singha dwara, after the first step you cannot hear any sound produced by the ocean. But, when you exit it can be distinctly heard. This can be noticed clearly during the evening time. There is no scientific clarification for this. Legend says that Subhadra Mayi, the sister of the two Lords wished calmness, peace and tranquillity within the temple abode and hence it was made to come about that way.
  • Temple Architecture and Interior Courtyard:

Puri Jagannath Temple is a grand temple and covers an area of 37000m2. The height of its outer wall is almost 6.1m. This outer wall surrounds the whole temple and is known as Meghananda Pacheri. The main portion of the temple is also encircled by a wall known as Kurma Bheda.

The temple was constructed on the basis of Oriya architecture and has around 120 temples and shrines inside. The main temple is curvilinear in shape having a chakra of Lord Vishnu on its top. This chakra is also known as Nila Chakra. The tower of the temple has a height of 65m.

  • Nila Chakra:

Nila Chakra is located on the top of the temple and a different flag, each named as Patita Pavana, is hoisted on the chakra daily. The chakra has eight spokes called as Navagunjaras. The chakra was built with an alloy of eight metals also known as Ashtadhatu. The height and circumference of this Nila Chakra is 3.5m and 11m respectively.

  • Singhadwara:

There are totally four gates to enter the temple and one of them is Singhadwara, that is actually a Sanskrit word which means Lion Gate. There are sculptures of two lions one on each side of the gate. People can enter to the temple through a staircase known as Baisi Pahacha which consists of 22 steps.

  • Arun Stambha:

This sixteen sided and monolithic pillar is situated in front of Singhadwara. Arun is the another name of Lord Sun. Previously, this Arun Stambha was located at Sun temple of Konark. Later it was brought here by Guru Brahmachari Gosain.

  • Hathidwara, Byaghradwara, and Ashwadwara:

Hathidwara, Byaghradwara, and Ashwadwara are the three other doorways from where people can enter the temple. These dwaras or gates are called so because these are guarded by Hathi(Elephant), Byaghra(Tiger), and Ashwa(Horse) respectively.

  • Vimala Temple:

There are many small temples inside the boundaries of Jagannath Temple and Vimala temple is one of them. As per Hindu mythology, the feet of Goddess Sati has fallen on the spot where the temple is constructed. The food proffered to Lord Jagannath is also proffered to goddess Vimala then it is called Mahaprasad.

  • Mahalaxmi Temple:

There are many rituals performed in Jagannath temple and Mahalaxmi Temple which takes an important role because preparation of the food to be proffered to Lord Jagannath is supervised by Mahalaxmi. The food is called as Naivedya.

  • Mukti Mandap:

This square shaped mandap which covers an area of 900square feet and height having 5 feet is made with Granite. Icons of many gods and goddesses have been established here.

  • Dola Mandap:

Dola Mandapa is used to make a swing on which idol of Lord Dologobinda is placed. This swing is set up during the annual Dol yatra

  • The world famous chariot festival or Ratha Yatra:

Ratha Yatra is a prime Hindu festival connected with Lord Jagannath (avatar of Lord Vishnu) held every year at Puri in India during the months of June or July. The 3 deities of Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Lord Balabhadra and their only sister Subhadra are worshipped within the temple. On this festival they are taken to the streets of Puri so that everyone can have the chance to see them. The 3 deities make an annual journey to their aunt’s temple i.e. Gundicha Temple, which is just 2 km away from Lord Jagannath temple.

Rath Yatra Puri
Rath Yatra Puri

Puri is well connected by Railways. Trains are from Kolkata (Howrahjn), NewDelhi, Ahemadabad etc.It is also a major railhead on the East Coast Railway, divided  from Khurda Road Jn. The Railway Station of Puri is in The heart of the town and near to all hotels.The nearest airport is Bhubaneswar, 60 km. As lots of people from various parts of India available here there would not be a language problem at all. You can use cycle or auto rickshaws for your convenience but agree a price before you set off. There are some other places on C.T (Chakra Tirtha)Road where you can hire a motorbike, good if you want to drive along the coast to Konark(Sun Temple). 

Make sure to visit the golden beach of Puri on your way to Puri Jagannath temple. It is well known for being a tourist attraction, so don’t miss it.Come and explore the peerless beauty of Shree Jagannath Dhaam. Have a good day ahead.