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Jagannath Temple in Orissa

Jagannath Temple is one of the most renowned as well as the biggest temples of Orissa, India. It is located 60 km from Bhubaneshwar, on the coast of the Bay Of Bengal. The name Jagannath literally means the Lord of the Universe. This is one of the CHAR DHAMS of Hindus, besides Rameshwar, Dwarka & Badrinath. The Jagannath Temple of Puri is one of the most popular temples of the place. This temple is one of the tallest temples that have been established in the country of India. Because it is Situated in the heart of the holy city, thats why the temple is visited by devotees from farthest corners of India as well as the world.

The main deity of the temple is Lord Vishnu as Jagannath along with Brother Balbhadra & Sister Subhadra. The main festival is Rath Yatra which is on Ashadhi Ekadashi as per Hindu calendar which falls in the month of July/August.  It is basically a chariot festival, where idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, the main deities of Srimandir, are taken to the Gundicha temple in bejeweled chariots and are brought back to the mandir in the same way. The temple of Lord Jagannath is known to everyone and has an aesthetic feel when you reach here.The Prasad served here is freshly made and is very tasty.

 

Even if you are not a religious person then also this temple is simply worth to visit for its architecture, hugeness, sculpture and stories. Non-Hindu people can't enter into the temple. Hope one day the temple management will get away with this kind of restriction and understand god is not bounded by a religion and will open its doors to all. There is a flag hosting ceremony happens everyday at around evening. Each day, the Lord at the Jagannath Temple is offered 'bhoga' six times and it is dispensed among the worshippers . You can buy 'Prasad' from Ananda Bazar which is within the temple area.

Architecture and its History

The architecture of the temple follows the pattern of many Orissan temples of the classical period. Beautiful architecture and plenty of history makes this temple very interesting. Established in the 12th century, the temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath , Lord of the Universe. The basic structure of the temple has a total height of about 65 meters. The credit for laying the foundation of the Jagannath temple of Puri goes to Raja Ananta Varman Chodaganga DevKing Indradyumna first established the temple of Lord Jagannath here on the Nilachala hill with the Deity being installed by Lord Brahma himself. The two gods and the goddess of the temple are ornamented in accordance with the occasion and seasonal change. The structural design of the temple can be found to be in pyramid shape. The pillars that provide support to the temple are adorned with pictures depicting the life of Lord Krishna. There are 4 gates :

  • The Eastern Singhadwara (Lion Gate).
  • The Southern Ashwadwara (Horse Gate).
  • The Western Vyaghradwara (The Tiger Gate).
  • The Northern Hastidwara (Elephant Gate).

The Lion gate, which is the main gate, is located on the Grand side of the road. The temple is huge and has many small temples Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Rama Chandra, Sakshi Gopal, Hanuman, Lord Narasimha, Lord Varaha and others.

How to Reach

Puri is a terminus on the East Coast Railway having direct express and super fast train links with New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Tirupati etc. The station is about one km North of the town. You can take Cycle rickshaws and auto to reach this place. Bhubaneswar is also connected by air with flights to major Indian cities like New Delhi, Calcutta, Visakhapatnam, Ranchi, Chennai and Mumbai etc.