The land of God – Jagannath Puri

Posted On October 12, 2011 

India, the land of temples is India the land of pilgrimage in the eastern part of the country too. Visit the Jagannath Puri temple at Puri in the Orissa state on the coastal side of eastern India. This is a huge temple and can be reached from Kolkata and Bhubaneswar. In fact, the temple is one of the Golden Triangle of Orissa, with Bhubaneswar and Konark forming the other two temple destinations of the triangle. Many come here in large numbers to have a glimpse of their favourite Lord.

The state of Orissa is famous for its cult of Jagannath. This led to the increase of Jagannath temples in the state. Puri is a very old temple which has the Lord Krishna as the presiding deity. Jagannath here is in wooden form and the images of Balabhadra his brother and Subhadra, Lord Krishna’s sister are also found. Rig Veda of Indian scriptures in fact has a mention of PUrushottama in the wooden image form and interestingly states that this was made from wood found in the ocean. Puri has been referred to as the place in the Brahma Purana too.

Jagannath Puri temple

Orissa has four temples – Konark as the Surya Kshetra, Bhubaneshwar as the Hara Kshetra, Jaipur as the Parvati Kshetra and Puri as the Vishnu Kshetra. Legend says that the idol of Jagannath was actually found under a fig tree in the form of the Blue Jewel or the Indranila. There was a dazzling brightness to the image and this made Dharma to hide it in earth. So it was king Indradyumna from Malwa who found it after a lot of penances and it wasn’t that he got the image. After the penance, he was told by Lord Vishnu to create an image out of a log. The king found the log and then Vishwakarma and Vishnu came as artistes in front of him and they prepared these three images of Balrama, Krishna and Subhadra. Then the images have been changed and new ones replaced.

Puri was the place of Buddhism earlier and had Vaishnavism. The Rath Yatra is very famous here and is similar to the chariot procession of Buddha’s tooth at Dantapuri.

Rath Yatra

Located on the Nila hill, there is a banyan tree here which is believed to be Lord Vishnu. Then there is an ocean which is considered to be Balarama and a pool which is believed to be Indradyumna. So the pilgrims first go to the temple of Shiva then the banyan tree and then the temple of Balarama before going to the Jagannath Puri temple. Then Subhadra is worshipped.

The Jagannath Puri temple with an area of around 400000 square feet has a huge wall around it. Around 120 temples exist here and the main tower of the temple rises up to a height of around 192 feet.

The first chamber in the temple is called the Bhogmandir, the next is the Natamandir and is for dance, and then the Jagamohana where devotees are wait to worship, and the Deul is the main sanctum which is for the dieites.

Jagannath Puri temple

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