The Jagannath Temple is an important Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath, a form of Sri Krishna in Puri in the state of Odisha on the eastern coast of India. Explore the Mysteries of Jagannath Puri Temple
History of Shree Jagannath puri temple
The history of the Jagannath Puri Temple is related to a fascinating story. Lord Jagannath was worshipped secretly in a forest as Lord Neela Madhaba by a king named Viswavasu. King Indradyumna was curious to know more about the deity, and so, he sent a Brahmin priest, Vidyapati to Viswavasu. All the efforts of Vidyapati to find the place went in vain. But, he fell in love with Viswavasu’s daughter, Lalita, and married her. Then, at the request of Vidyapati, Viswavasu took his son-in-law blindfolded to the cave where he worshipped Lord Jagannath.
Smart Vidyapati dropped mustard seeds on the ground on the way. After this, King Indradyumna proceeded to Odisha to the Deity. However, the idol was not there. Though he was disappointed, he was determined to see the idol of Lord Jagannath. A sudden voice told him to construct a temple on Nilasaila. Afterward, the king ordered his men to build a beautiful temple for Vishnu. The king later invited Brahma to consecrate the temple. However, Brahma was in meditation which lasted for nine years. By then, the temple got buried under the sand. The king was anxious when the king heard a voice that directed him to find a floating log of a tree on the seashore and make idols out of it during his sleep. Accordingly, the king again got a magnificent temple built and installed the images of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra made out of the wood of the divine tree. Explore the Mysteries of Jagannath Puri Temple.
Mysteries of Jagannath Puri Temple
Puri’s famous Jagannath Temple holds a prominent place of importance for devotees. It is one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites in India and is also well-known for the annual chariot festival or Rath Yatra. If various legends are to be believed, King Indradyumn built this holy shrine after Lord Vishnu blessed and guided him in his dreams to find Nila Madhava.
It was during one of the holy dips in the river, King Indradyumn found an iron rod floating. It is believed that Lord Vishnu then whispered to him that the floating rod is his heart, which will remain on the land forever. The king then ran with the rod to Lord Jagannath and placed it in him discreetly. He never allowed anyone to ever see or touch the rod.
It is also believed that when the Pandavas started their journey to Yamraj, Sapt Rishis advised them to visit the ‘Char Dham’ to get closer to ‘moksha.’ And, Jagannath Temple in Puri is one of the holy places of ‘Char Dham.’ Since then, the Jagannath idol has always remained off-limits for people, and devotees can see him only for a particular period of time. Here you can check the Mysteries of Jagannath Puri Temple.
1. Defying Nature’s Code of Conduct
Even a child knows any piece of cloth is dominated by the wind to fly according to its course. The same principle has numerous applications; from the giant sails on your ship to a small flag in your hand all follow the same code. But it looks like the flag mounted on the top of the Jagannath Temple is a unique exception to the principle. This particular flag flows in the opposite direction to the wind’s course without any scientific background to back it up.
2. The Climb
Every day a priest scrambles the walls of the temple with a height equivalent to that of a 45-story building, to change the flag atop the temple dome. This ritual dates far back to the day the temple was built. The practice is done with bare hands without any protective gear. It’s believed if the ritual is skipped one day from the calendar, the temple will be shut down for a long 18 years. This might make the professional climbers jealous. The Climb is one of the most Mysteries of Jagannath Puri Temple
3. A light with no darkness
A necessary detail while sketching anything is shading. Shading happens when sunlight glows on one part of the subject leaving a shadow on the other, which ultimately triggers shade. But, what if something has no shadow?
The temple is reported to have no shadow at all, at any time of the day from any direction possible. Could it be an architectural marvel or Lord Jagannath’s message to humanity?
4. The Riddle of The Sudarshan Chakra
There are two mysteries present at the pinnacle of the temple in the form of the Sudarshan Chakra. The first oddity revolves around the theory of how the hard metal weighing about a tonne, just got up there without any machinery just with a human force of that century.
The second is one deal with the architectural technique related to the Chakra. From every direction you look, the Chakra looks back with the same appearance. It’s like it was designed to look just the same from every direction.
5. Nothing’s Above God, So Nothing Fly Above It Either
The sky is the bird domain. We see birds sitting, resting, and flying above our heads and rooftops all the time. But, this particular area is restricted, not even a single bird is encountered above the temple dome, and even an airplane could not be seen hovering above the temple.
Might be because Lord Jagannath doesn’t want the view of his holy mansion to be disturbed!
6. The Food Is Never Futile Here
In Hindu mythology, wasting food is considered a bad sign; the Temple crew follows the same. The total number of people visiting the temple varies between 2,000 to 2, and 00,000 people every day. Miraculously, the Parsadam prepared every day is never wasted, not even a bite. Could this be effective management or the Lord’s will?
7. Mute Water
Second, after you put the first step inside the temple from the Singha Dwara entrance, the audibility to the ocean waves is entirely lost. This phenomenon is more prominent in the evening time. Again, no scientific explanation adds up to this fact. The sound returns when you leave the temple.
According to the local lore, it was the will of the Subhadra Mayi, the sister of the two lords who wished for serenity within the temple gates. Hence her will was duly fulfilled. Mute Water is one of the most Mysteries of Jagannath Puri Temple
8. Reverse gear of the Breeze
Take any place on Earth, in the daytime the breeze from the sea comes to land and the opposite happens in the evening. But, in Puri, the breeze has a tendency to contradict and opt for the exact opposite direction. In the daytime, the breeze blows from land to sea and the opposite in the evening happens.
9. Magical Methods to Cook
The traditional way to cook the Parsadam is preserved by the priests here. Exactly seven pots are used as vessels mounted over one another and are cooked using firewood. Enchantingly, the top pot is cooked first, and the rest follows the same order! Magical Methods to Cook is one of the most Mysteries of Jagannath Puri Temple
10. Deities Disintegration
The deities are buried every 14 to 18 years, one above another, replaced by new ones. These deities are made up of neem wood and are believed to be disintegrated on their own.
11. The Rath Yatra
The Rath Yatra is an annual parade in which the deities are carried outside the temple on 2 sets of chariots (3 each). The first chariot carries the deities to the river which separates the Jagannath Temple and the Mausi Maa temple. After that, the idols are boarded in 3 boats to cross the river. Now the second chariot comes into play. It carries the deities from the river to the Mausi Maa Temple where the ritual takes place.
Architecture Of Jagannath Puri Temple
The Jagannath Temple is one of the most spectacular temples of India. With its classic Oriya architecture, it never fails to sweep tourists off their feet. It covers an area of approximately 4,00,000 square feet and is enclosed by two rectangular walls. The outer wall is called Meghanada Pacheri which is 20 ft. high. The other one is called Kurma Bedha which surrounds the main temple.
The main shikhara or tower which is higher compared to other shikhara houses the deities. The temple has four distinct structures- the Vimana, the Jagamohan or the porch, the Nata Mandir, and the Bhoga Mandap built in a row. There are four gates- the eastern Singhadwara (Lion Gate), the southern Ashwadwara (Horse Gate), the western Vyaghrasana (Tiger Gate), and the northern Hastidwara (Elephant Gate). The Lion Gate is the main gate, located on Grand Road. Within the temple complex, there are many shrines also. Also, there is a wheel on the top of the temple known as the Nila Chakra or the Blue Wheel. It is made up of different metals and every day a new flag is hoisted on the chakra.
Festivals Celebrated At Jagannath Puri Temple
Jagannath Puri Temple is known for celebrating religious festivals with great pomp and excitement. Some of the major festivals you should definitely witness are-
1. Puri Rath Yatra- This is the major festival of the temple. Also known as the Car Festival or Gundicha Yatra, it is usually held in the month of June or July. All the three idols of Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra are carried in huge chariots or raths from Bada Danda, the main street of Puri, to the Gundicha Temple. Then, after nine days, they are brought back to the Jagannath Temple. The return yatra is called Bahuda Yatra and it is performed in the same way as the Rath Yatra. Thousands of people gather around for the darshan of the lords. It is really a beautiful sight to see all the deities adorned in bright colors. The zeal and excitement of people is a cherry on the cake.
2. Snana Yatra- In this festival, the deities are bathed on full moon day. They are brought out from the temple and taken in a procession to the Snana Bedi. This festival takes place in May or June.
3. Chandan Yatra- Held in April-May, Chandan Yatra is a 21-day festival. During this period, the deities along with images of Siva from 5 Shiva Temples are taken in a procession to Narendra tank where the idols are kept in beautifully decorated boats and are worshipped.
4. Dola Yatra- This festival takes place in the month of Phalguna. The respective deities are taken in a procession to Dolavedi which is located outside the main temple and special rituals are performed.
5. Makara Sankranti- This festival is held in the month of Pausa. Special dresses are made for the deities. Boiled rice mixed with candy and fruit juices are offered to the deities. This festival has an agricultural significance.
Jagannath Puri Temple Darshan Timings
The temple does not charge any fees for general darshan. However, if you wish to be a part of some rituals, you might have to pay INR 10-50. The temple remains open from 5:00 in the morning till 12:00 in midnight. There are a couple of rituals or nitis that are performed daily in the temple. Some of them are-
1. Mangal Aarti- This is the first ritual of the day when the temple gets opened early morning at 5:00 AM.
2. Beshalagi- The deities are made to change their dresses several times. At 8:00 AM, they are adorned with gold and beautiful dresses according to the festive occasions. This is also known as ‘Bhitara Katha’.
3. Sakala Dhupa- At around 10:00 AM, morning poojas are performed with Upachars. Bhog in large quantities is prepared and offered to lords.
4. Mailam and Bhoga Mandap- After morning pooja, the clothes of the deities are changed again which is termed Mailam. This is followed by a pooja in Bhoga Mandap. Huge quantities of Bhog or Prasad is prepared which are offered to the public as well.
5. Madhyanha Dhupa- Just like Sakal Dhupa, this pooja is performed between 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM with the Upachars.
6. Sandhya Dhupa- Around 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, poojas are performed again and bhog is prepared.
7. Mailam and Chandana Lagi- After evening poojas, deities are anointed with sandal paste. One can witness this ritual after paying a nominal fee of INR 10.
8. Badashringara Bhoga- This is the last bhog of the day. Also, pooja is performed.
Best Time To Visit Sri Jagannath Puri Temple
May to July witness the monsoon season of Puri and therefore, heavy rainfall is observed during this time. However, the major festivals of Jagannath Puri Temple like Rath Yatra take place in these months only. Though the weather is unfavorable, you have the opportunity to be a part of the dazzling festivals of Puri. The prices can be high as a plethora of devotees visit this time.
How To Reach Sri Jagannath Puri Temple
How to Reach Puri
How to reach Puri by road
Buses are available from Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata, and Bhubaneshwar.
How to reach Puri by train
Puri lies along the Calcutta-Chennai line and most of the trains stop here. Therefore, it is each to reach the Puri Railway Station via train.
Local transport in Puri
Traveling within the city is facilitated by various modes of transport like cycle-rickshaw, auto-rickshaw, and hired motorbikes. Cycle rickshaws are the most economical option. The meters of the auto-rickshaws usually don’t work so you know how to strike a bargain and hired motorbikes come at the cost of 400-500 rupees per day.
Accommodation of Jagannath Puri Temple Trust
Rooms in Puri or a Dharamshala in Puri near Jagannath temple can be booked on the YatraDham.Org. the website conveniently with an assurance of reliability. A Puri Dharamshala list which includes Many Dharamshala in Jagannath Puri is near the temple. in Puri are among various options for the visitor.
Checkout, the List of Top 10 Dharamshala in Jagannath Puri
Shri Chaitanya Gaudiya Mutt
Located 1.5 km from the Puri bus stand, Shri Chaitanya Gaudiya Mutt offers three bedded AC and non AC rooms. Meals are available here.
Assam Jatri Niwas
Located 3 km from the Puri bus stand, Assam Jatri Niwas offers two and three bedded AC and non AC rooms, as well as dormitory accommodation.
Rukmani Birla Mangal Bhavan (Birla Guest House)
Located 5 km from the Puri bus stand, Rukmini Birla Mangal Bhavan offers two bedded AC rooms in beautiful surroundings.
Sri Bhakta Nivas
2.5 km from the Puri bus stand, Sri Bhakta Niwas offers two and three-bedded AC and non AC rooms as well as four-bedded rooms.
Shri Purushottam Vatika
3.4 km from the Puri bus stand, Shri Purishottam math offers two, three and six-bedded rooms as well as dormitory accommodation
Nitaai Gaudiya Math
Located 5.5 km from the Puri bus stand. Nitaai Gaudiya Math offers two bedded rooms. Located in a quiet area a stay here can be pleasant and enjoyable
1.8 km from the Puri bus stand, Nilandri Complex offers two bedded AC and non AC rooms. Meals are available here
Sri Purushottam Gaudiya Math
Sri Purushottam Gaudiya Math in Jagannath Puri is 4.2 km from the local Bus Stand. It is around 1.0 km from the Jagannath Puri Railway Station
Nilachal Bhakta & Yatri Niwas
Located 2 km from the Puri Bus stand, Nilachal Bhakta and Yatri Niwas offers two bedded deluxe AC rooms with one extra mattress.
Shri Damodar Goudiya Mutt
2.5 km from the Puri bus stand, Shri Damodar Gaudiya Mutt offers two bedded deluxe AC rooms. Very near the sea and with clean spacious rooms