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Jagannath Temple Puri- Know the mystery, history and glory

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Jagannath Temple Puri- On the eastern side of the foothills of Bengal in the eastern part of India, amidst the coastal city of Puri in the state of Odisha, stands a testament to devotion, history, mystery and unparalleled grandeur the Jagannath Temple.

Shri Krishna, the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, always remains present. This grand temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra is a treasure trove of mystery, history and glory.

Which has captivated the hearts of pilgrims and scholars alike for centuries. It is one of the 108 Abhimaan Kshetras of Vaishnava tradition.

अयोध्या मथुरा माया काशीकाञ्ची अवन्तिका!
वैशाली द्वारिका ध्येया पुरी तक्षशिला गया!!

It is one of the 10 ancient holy cities of India and one of the Sapta Puri (7 salvation places). Lord Vishnu used to eat only Puri during his visit to Char Dham.

Let us know through this article…Jagannath Temple Puri- Know the mystery, history and glory.

Table of Contents

Jagannath Temple Puri– A Unique and Surprising Mystery

When humans step into the sacred premises of Jagannath Temple Puri. They are immediately lost in a mystical world. Legends and myths revolve around the deities and the rituals performed within them to connect with God in a devotional manner.

The stories of divine transformations, the age-old aura of spirituality and meditation create a mystical atmosphere that attracts seekers and devotees from all over the world.

The annual Rath Yatra of the Lord, a grand chariot procession, adds to the mystique of the temple. Thousands of devotees gather to witness this scene.

Where the deities are taken through the streets of Puri on lavishly decorated chariots. It is an event that is a blend of spirituality, tradition and the excitement of a huge festival.

Now let us know about the miracle of Jagannath Temple Puri.

Flag flying against the wind

The red flag installed on top of Shri Jagannath Temple Puri always waves against the wind. Only scientists can tell why this happens. But it is definitely surprising.

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It keeps waving in the opposite direction to the wind. It is also surprising that every evening the flag installed on top of the temple is changed by a human being by climbing it upside down.

The flag is also so grand that when it waves, everyone keeps looking at it. Shiva’s moon is depicted on this red flag.

Miraculous Sudarshan Chakra

If you look at the Sudarshan Chakra on the top of the temple from any place in Jagannath Temple Puri, you will always see it in front of you. It is also called Neelachakra.

Mandir is made of Ashtadhatu and is considered very sacred and sacred. It gives you a straight view from East, West, North, South and all. Which is a miracle.

The dome does not cast a shadow

This is the most grand and beautiful temple in the world. This temple is spread over an area of 4 lakh square feet and its height is approximately 214 feet.

It is impossible to see its dome while standing near the temple. The shadow of the main dome remains invisible at any time of the day.

How great engineers our ancestors must have been can be understood from the example of this one temple.

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This grand form of the temple of Puri was built in the 7th century. The sun’s rays fall on the temple from any direction but it does not create a shadow.

Wind Direction- Jagannath Temple Puri

During normal days the wind blows from sea to land and during the evening it is the opposite. But in the holy Puri of India, it is the opposite.

On most sea coasts the wind generally blows from the sea towards the land. But here the wind goes from land to sea.

There is a scientific reason for this happening. But it is no less than a miracle for humans.

World’s largest kitchen- Jagannath Temple Puri

In this temple complex, 500 cooks along with 300 colleagues prepare prasad for Lord Jagannath. About 20 lakh devotees can have food here.

It is said that even if the Prasad in the temple is made for a few thousand people. It can feed millions of people. The quantity of food to be cooked inside the temple lasts for the whole year.

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Not a single quantity of Prasad ever goes waste. Prasad is offered to the deity six times a day. All the Mahaprasad cooked in the kitchen of Jagannath Temple Puri is supervised by the Queen Goddess Mahalakshmi of the temple herself.

In the temple kitchen, 7 utensils are placed one on top of the other to cook the Prasad and everything is cooked on wood.

In this process, the ingredients in the top vessel are cooked first and then they are cooked one after the other towards the bottom, that is, the food in the vessel placed at the top gets cooked first.

Birds do not fly over the dome

Till now no bird has been seen flying around the dome above the temple. Aircraft cannot be flown over it.

Birds are not seen flying near the peak of the temple. Whereas it has been observed that birds sit on the domes of most of the temples in India or are seen flying nearby.

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In honor of Lord Jagannath, birds change their direction and avoid sitting on the temple.

Shape changing statue

Shri Shri Krishna is called Jagannath. Jagannath is accompanied by his brother Balabhadra (Balram) and sister Subhadra.

These three statues are made of wood. Here the statue is redecorated once every 12 years. New idols are definitely made but the shape and form remain the same. It is said that those idols are not worshipped, they are kept only for darshan.

Sound of the sea

Only when you enter the first step into the Singhdwar of the temple (from inside the temple) you cannot hear any sound produced by the ocean.

You can hear it when you cross the same steps (from outside the temple). This can be clearly experienced in the evening. Similarly, there is a heavenly gate outside the temple.

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Where dead bodies are burnt to attain salvation, but only when you come out of the temple. You will feel the smell of burning dead bodies. This is possible only through a miracle.

World’s largest Rath Yatra

Every month of Ashadh, the Lord rides a chariot and goes to the house of his aunt Queen Gundicha.

This Rath Yatra takes place only in the Purushottam area spread over 5 kilometers of the entire city. Queen Gundicha was the wife of King Indradayumna.

A great devotee of Lord Jagannath, that is why the queen is called the aunt of Lord Jagannath. Lord stays at his aunt’s house for 8 days. The return journey takes place on Ashadh Shukla Dashami.

The chariot of Lord Jagannath is Nandighosh. Goddess Subhadra’s chariot is Darpadalan and brother Balabhadra’s Raksha Tal is the flag. Gajapati Maharaj of Puri sweeps with a golden broom which is called Chhera Parran.

Hanumanji protects Jagannath from the sea

It is believed that the sea broke the temple of Jagannathji three times. It is said that Mahaprabhu Jagannath had appointed the brave Maruti (Hanumanji) here to control the sea.

But at times even Hanuman could not satisfy his greed for the darshan of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra. They used to enter the city to see the Lord.

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In such a situation the sea also used to enter the city after them. Being troubled by this habit of Kesari Nandan Hanumanji.

Jagannath Mahaprabhu tied Hanumanji here with a golden chain. Here in Jagannathpuri, there is an ancient and famous temple of Bedi Hanuman on the sea shore. Devotees come to see Hanumanji hanging in chains.

Jagannath Temple Puri – History

The history of Jagannath Temple Puri is as interesting as it is full of turmoil. Its origins date back to ancient times and has seen many invasions.

Reconstructions and moments of resilience. The Jagannath temple was attacked and looted eighteen times by raiders and robbers.

But even today it is carrying forward the great heritage of India. The architectural development of the temple is indigenous evidence. Which shows the richness of India’s history.

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The first evidence of this temple is found in the Vanparva of Mahabharata. It is said that Sabar tribal Vishwavasu first worshiped him in the form of Neelamadhav. Even today, there are many servants in the temples of Puri who are known as Daitapati.

King Indradayumna had built the temple

Indradayumna was the king of the great Malwa of ancient India. Whose father’s name was Bharat and mother’s name was Sumati.

King Indradayumna had seen Jagannath in his dream. Many texts have written in detail about King Indradyumna and his yagya.

He performed many huge yajana here and built a lake. One night Lord Vishnu appeared to him in his dream. And said that there is an idol of mine in a cave of Neelachal mountain. And it is called Neelamadhav.

You build a temple and install this statue of mine in it. The king sent his servants in search of Nilanchal Mountain. One of them was a Brahmin named Vidyapati.

Vidyapati had heard that the people of Sabar clan worship Neelmadhava and they had hidden this idol of their deity in the cave of Neelanchal mountain.

He also knew that the head of the Sabar clan, Vishvavasu, was a worshiper of Neelamadhav and he had hidden the idol in the cave. The clever Vidyapati married the chief’s daughter.

At last he succeeded in reaching the cave of Neelmadhav through his wife. He stole the idol and brought it to the king.

Vishwavasu was very saddened by the theft of the idol of his favorite deity. God also became sad due to the sorrow of his devotee.

The Lord returned to the cave, but at the same time promised King Indradayumna that he would definitely return to him one day provided he built a huge temple for him. The king built the temple and asked Lord Vishnu to reside in the temple.

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God said that to make my idol, you should pick up a big piece of tree floating in the sea, which is coming to Puri after floating in the sea from Dwarka.

The king’s servants found a piece of the tree but even all of them together could not lift the tree. Then the king understood that he would have to take the help of Vishvavasu.

The head of the Sabar clan, who was an ardent devotee of Neelmadhav. Everyone was surprised when Vishwavasu lifted the heavy wood and brought it to the temple.

Now it was the turn to carve the idol of God from wood. The king’s artisans tried their best but no one could even put a chisel in the wood.

Then Lord Vishwakarma, the skilled artisan of the three worlds, came in the form of an old man. He told the king that he could make the idol of Neelamadhav.

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But he also kept his condition that he would make the idol in 21 days and would do it alone. No one can see them making them. His condition was accepted.

People kept hearing sounds of saws, chisels and hammers. King Indradayumna’s queen Gundicha could not control herself. When she went near the door she did not hear any sound.

She panicked. He thought the old artisan was dead. He informed this to the king. No sound was heard from inside so the king also felt the same. Ignoring all conditions and warnings, the king ordered the door of the room to be opened.

As soon as the room was opened, the old man was missing and three incomplete idols were found lying inside.

Lord Neelamadhav and his brother had small hands made, but not their legs. Whereas Subhadra’s hands and legs were not made at all.

The king considered it to be God’s wish and installed these incomplete statues. From then till today, the three brothers and sisters are present in this form.

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The present temple was built in the 7th century. Although this temple was also built in 2 BC. The temple located here has been broken three times.

It was renovated by Orissa ruler Ananga Bhimdev in 1174 AD. There are about 30 small and big temples established around the main temple.

The great Sikh Emperor Maharaja Ranjit Singh donated abundant gold to this temple. Which was much more than the gold he had given to the Golden Temple, Amritsar.

Five Pandavas also came to see Lord Jagannath during their exile. The place of Pandavas still exists inside the Sri Mandir.

When Lord Jagannath goes on Chandan Yatra, five Pandavas accompany him to Narendra Sarovar.

Adi Shankaracharya visited here in the 9th century and established Govardhan Math, one of the four monasteries here.

Divine Glory Within Jagannath Temple Puri

The deities in the center of the temple are Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra. These gorgeous figures are unique in their appearance and hold a special place in the hearts of devotees.

The temple serves as a center of devotion and pilgrimage. Which attracts lakhs of people for darshan and blessings.

The glory of Jagannath Temple extends far beyond its spiritual significance. It is a living cultural heritage. Which has unique practices and traditions that have been preserved through generations.

Mythological significance

It is believed that when Lord Vishnu goes on a visit to his four Dhams, he takes bath in Badrinath, his Dham situated on the high peaks of the Himalayas.

In the west, clothes are worn in Dwarka, Gujarat. Dine at Puri and rest at Rameshwaram in the south.

After Dwapar, Lord Krishna started residing in Puri and became the Lord of the world i.e. Jagannath.

Jagannath Dham of Puri is one of the four Dhams. Here Lord Jagannath sits with elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra.

Importance from ancient economic point of view

Among the 7 ancient and holy cities, Puri is situated on the sea coast of Orissa state. Jagannath Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna, the 8th incarnation of Vishnu.

The holy city of Puri, situated on the eastern end of the Bay of Bengal in the east of India, is a short distance from Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa.

Today’s Orissa was known as Utkal Pradesh in ancient times. Here the country had rich ports, where trade with Java, Sumatra, Indonesia, Thailand and many other countries was carried out through these ports.

Stories described in Puranas

In the Puranas it has been called Vaikuntha of the earth. This is one of the four Dhams of Lord Vishnu.

It is also called Shri Kshetra, Shri Purushottam Kshetra, Shak Kshetra, Neelanchal, Nilgiri and Shri Jagannath Puri. Here Lakshmipati Vishnu had performed various types of pastimes.

According to Brahma and Skanda Purana, Lord Vishnu incarnated here in the form of Purushottam Neelamadhav and became the most revered deity of the Sabar tribe.

Tribal importance

Being the deity of Sabar tribe, the form of Lord Jagannath here is like that of tribal deities. Earlier the people of the tribe used to make the idols of their gods from wood.

Apart from the priests of Sabar tribe, there are also Brahmin priests in the Jagannath temple. From Jyeshtha Purnima to Ashadh Purnima, people of Sabar caste perform all the rituals of Daitapati Jagannathji.

Worship of shri ram

According to Purana, Purushottam Hari is worshiped in Nilgiri. Purushottam Hari is considered to be the form of Lord Rama here.

Tridev (Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh)

Brahma Kapal Mochan, the second form of Shiva, is present in the second circle of the conch. It is believed that the head of Lord Brahma got stuck to the palm of Mahadev and it fell here.

Since then Mahadev is worshiped here in the form of Brahma. Maa Vimala is seated in the third circle of the conch and Lord Jagannath is seated on the chariot throne in the navel place.

Importance in Skanda Purana

Geographical description of Puri Dham is found in Skanda Purana. According to Skanda Purana, Puri is like a southern conch and it is spread over an area of 5 Kos i.e. 16 kilometers.

It is believed that about 2 kos of its area has been submerged in the Bay of Bengal. Its belly is the golden sand of the sea which is washed by the holy water of Mahodadhi. The head area is in the west direction which is protected by Mahadev.

Importance in Matsya Purana

Iis written in the oldest Matsya Purana that the goddess of Purushottam area is Vimala and she is worshiped here.

Importance in ramayana

According to the Uttarakhand of Ramayana, Lord Rama asked Ravana’s brother Vibhishana to worship Lord Jagannath. The family deity of his Ikshvaku dynasty. Even today the tradition of Vibhishana Vandapana continues in the Shri Mandir of Puri.

Importance and influence in culture

The influence of Jagannath Temple Puri extends far beyond its walls. It has left an indelible mark on the culture, art and cuisine of Odisha.

The stories and symbolism of the temple have inspired the unique literature, music and dance forms of the region.

Cultural festivals and events in Odisha are often deeply associated with Jagannath Puja. It is considered to be the most important area for a spiritually inspired seeker.

Importance for sages, saints and great men

This temple is sacred to all Hindus and especially to Vaishnava traditions. Many great Vaishnava saints, such as Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Nimbarkacharya, Vallabhacharya and Ramananda were closely associated with the temple.

Ramanuja established the Emaar Math near the temple and Adi Shankara established the Govardhan Math, the seat of one of the four Shankaracharya.

It also holds special significance for followers of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, whose founder was Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, was attracted to the deity, Jagannatha and lived in Puri for many years.

Conclusion of Jagannath temple Puri

A glimpse into the mysterious world of Jagannath Temple Puri

As we end our journey into the world of Jagannath Temple of India. We have touched the surface of its mystery.

We have delved deep into its history, and glimpsed its glory. To truly understand the depth of its significance, one must experience it firsthand.

Jagannath Temple is a living testimony of the enduring spirit of devotion, culture and tradition that is thriving at the heart of the spiritual landscape of India.

We are proud of our heritage. We learn about robbers with evil powers. Who wanted to destroy the traditions of India. But could not erase. We should be careful about this in future.

 

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