Jagannath Temple: The Epitome of Faith
What is faith? Where does it lead to? How to strengthen it? Quite often, we ask these questions. For those who are still searching for an answer, Odisha Travel might of qualitative help.
Jagannath Temple, the sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath -re-incarnation of Lord Vishnu -is one of the ‘Char Dhams’ of India. These are the four religious pilgrimage abodes of India.
Do experience soul-purification and spirituality with a relaxing Jagannath Temple Tour. It would remarkably please your senses and revitalise your mind.
History of Jagannath Temple suggests that it was constructed by King Anantavarman Chodaganga of Ganga Dynasty during 11th century. However, the present temple was re-built by Ganga King Ananga Bhima Deva in 1174 AD.
The common everyday folklore states that, even today, Lord Vishnu bathes at Rameswaram, meditates at Badrinath, dines at Jagannath Temple in Puri and eventually dozes off to sleep at Dwarka. Hence, the temple food called ‘Mahaprasad’ is prepared with great care and effort.
Following are the main attractions of Jagannath Temple
The sanctum is constructed in Kalinga Buddhist style of architecture and covers an area of 37,000 metres square. A high fortified wall stands around the complex called Meghanada Pacheri. ?Walls of Kurma Bedha guard the main temple. There are nearly 120 temples and shrines in its vicinity.
The main temple is 65m high and stands on an elevated ground, making it look more grand and majestic. The section in which the deities are kept is called ratnavedi. An eight-spoked wheel called srichakra crowns the spire of the temple.
It is one of the four entrances to the temple and acts as the main gateway to it. ‘Singhadwara’ translates to ‘Lion Gate.’ As the name suggests, there are two massive statues of lions standing at the two sides of the door. Baisi Pahacha or a flight of 22 stairs leads to the temple.
The statues of two guards named Jaya and Vijaya stand on either side of the gate. Just before the beginning of the Ratha-Yatra, the idols of the presiding deities are taken out through this gate.
This is a wheel made of ashta dhatu (8 metals) positioned at the top of the Jagannath Temple. It is interesting to see how young boys climb up the tall sanctum and tie a new flag to it every day. It is a highly revered icon amongst the Hindus.
They are the pillared halls meant for religious gatherings. Mukti Mandapa is the most important of all, where the important decisions of daily rituals and festivals are held. Only selected Brahmin priests are allowed to enter this hall.
Dola Mandapa is noted for its richly carved stone arch. During Dol Yatra festival, a swing is attached to the arch and idol of Lord Dolagobinda(Lord Krishna) is placed on it.?
Idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balaram and Goddess Subhadra sit on the jewelled platform called as Ratnavedi. These idols are made of neem-logs, traditionally called as Daru Brahma. The deities are dressed in different attires depending on the season.
The temple’s kitchen is a very important part of the architecture and boasts of being the largest kitchen in India. People believe that if the food prepared has some fault in it then a dog would appear near the kitchen. The food is cooked in a traditional manner and strictly follows the Hindu religious texts. Earthen pots are only used to cook and offer food to the deity.
This is one of the biggest festivals of Odisha. The trinity of deities is adorned in colourful garbs and taken out of the temple for the journey called Ratha-Yatra. People gather around the huge chariot to have a glimpse of their Lord.??
Excursions from Jagannath Temple
Puri Beach (5.5km), Raghurajpur Village (10km), Chilika Lake (35km), Konark Temple(36km) and Lingaraja Temple (55km) are some of the nearby escapes to explore during your Odisha Trip.
How to Reach
Air: The nearest airport is in Bhubaneswar, 53km away from the destination. Tourists can take a cab or taxi from there to reach the temple. ?
Rail: Puri Railway Station receives trains from all over the country. Travellers can take a bus, auto-rickshaw or cab for the destination.
Road: Buses, taxis, auto-rickshaw or cabs from any part of the city to reach the temple.
Visiting a temple is the best way to quench your soul and mind. So, travel to Jagannath Temple today and experience the change in you.
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