The Jagannath Puri Temple is one of the holy Char Dhams in India. Located in the beach city of Puri in Odisha (Orissa), the sacred temple is visited by Hindu devotees throughout the year. The 11th century shrine is the holy abode of Lord Jagannath, accompanied by Subhadra and Balabhadra. The divine ambiance of the temple is said to cleanse your soul.
Jagannath Temple consists of four entrance gates named as Singhadwara, Ashwadwara, Hathidwara and Vyaghradwara and these names refer to lion, horse, elephant and tiger. The Garba Griha (Sanctum Santorum) is covered in exquisite carvings.
Legend associated with the Jagannath Puri Temple
The Jagannath Temple of Puri has an interesting legend associated with it. It was believed that the actual image of the Lord had the power of granting 'moksha' to anyone who witnessed it. Yamaraja, the Lord of Death didn't find this just. So, he decided to keep the image hidden in some distant and unknown corner of the earth. However, in the Dvapar Yuga, the idol that is worshipped today in Jagannath Puri was constructed with the help of wooden logs. The divine temple was listed as one of the Charm Dham Pilgrimages by Adi Shankracharya, a Hindu spiritual leader.
Interesting Facts about theJagannath Puri Temple
- The two Gods and the Goddess of the temple are ornamented according to the occasion and seasonal change.
- The structural design of the temple is a pyramid shape.
- Unbelievably, the temple employs about 6000 men to perform the complicated rituals involved in the temple.
- An estimated 20,000 people, divided into 36 orders and 97 classes depend on Jagannath for their livelihood.
- As you enter the heart of the holy shrine you do not hear the sound of the sea which seems quite impossible because the sound is loud and clear outside.
- Each day, holy food 'bhoga' is offered six times and it is dispensed among the worshippers.
- The temple is reported to have no shadow at all.
- The flag on the top of Jannath Puri Temple defies the nature’s code of conduct by flowing in opposite direction to that of the wind’s course. It is also interesting to note that the flag is changed every day by the priest who scrambles the walls of shrine which are as high as a 45-sotrey building.
- Nothing hovers above the temple dome.
Festivals of the Jagannath Puri Temple
The temple plays host to the annual Puri Rath Yatra also known as the Chariot Festival. In a grand procession the Gods and goddess are taken on extravagantly decorated chariots to Gundicha temple, known as the temple of Lord’s mother’s sister.
Accommodation nearby the Jagannath Puri Temple
There are various hotels nearby the Jagannath Puri Temple which offer a comfortable and a pleasant stay. Feel blessed at the Jagannath Puri Temple, one of the best places to visit in Orissa.