Jagannath Temple in Puri Orissa

The Jagannath Temple in Puri is one of the most renowned Hindu temples in Orissa, India. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, Jaganath temple is one of the biggest temples in Orrisa. Jagannath, which means Lord of the Universe, is a combination of the Sanskrit words Jagat (Universe) and Nath (Lord of). Lord Jagannath and his brother Balabhadra (Balarama), and sister, Subhadra, are in the form of wooden images. Sudarshan, Madhaba, Sridevi and Bhudevi are the other deities found on the Ratnabedi or the ornamented platform. Highly revered to the Vaishnava traditions, Puri Jagannath Temple is an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus, especially worshippers of Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu.

Puri Jagannath Temple Architecture

Built in the 12th century A.D, this magnificent temple is one of the finest examples of medieval Indian temple architecture. Lord Jagannath Temple stands on an elevated platform of stone and is surrounded by a massive enclosure. There are four structures called the Vimana or Bada Deula (sanctum sanctorum), the Jagamohan or Mukhasala (the porch), the Natamandir (the audience hall) and the Bhogamandap (the hall for residuary offerings). These structures are built in a row in an axial alignment in east-west direction. The temple faces the east and is a curvilinear temple (Rekha is the name given to a type of temple with a curvilinear spire). At the top is the ‘Srichakra' (an eight spooked wheel) of Vishnu.


Jagannath Temple Structure

There are four gates to Puri Jagannath Temple and the main entrance is the Singhdwara or The Lion Gate. The gate faces east and the Baisi Pahacha or the flight of twenty two steps lead to the temple complex. In front of the main gate is a sixteen-sided monolithic pillar known as the Arun stambha. Other entrances face north, south and west directions and are named after the sculptures of animals guarding them. They are the Hathidwara or the Elephant Gate, the Vyaghradwara or the Tiger Gate and the Ashwadwara or the Horse Gate.

The temple complex has many Mandapas or Pillared halls on raised platforms. Notable one is the Mukti Mandap, the congregation hall of the Sevayats or the temple servitors. The Dol Mandap is noted for a beautifully carved stone Torana or arch. The arch is used for constructing a swing for the annual Dol Yatra festival. There is a rectangular stone platform called Snana Bedi where idols of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are placed for ceremonial bathing. Various smaller temples and shrines are found within the temple complex. Shrines of Goddess Mahalakshmi and Lord Ganesh are worth mentioning.

Important Puri Jagannath Temple Festivals

Rath Yatra (Rathyatra) or the Chariot festival in June - July is the most important annual festival celebrated in Jagannath Temple, Puri. During the annual Jagannath Ratha Yatra festival, the idols of Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra are taken in procession in huge chariots through the Bada Danda of Puri till their final destination at Gundicha Temple. The Chandan Yatra festival on Akshaya Tritiya day marks the beginning of the construction of the Chariots of the Rath Yatra.

Dolo Yatra, Jhula Yatra, and Snana Yatra are some of the many other popular festivals celebrated at Jagannath Temple every year.

Navakalevara is another festival celebrated at Jagannath Temple. This festival usually occurs in 8, 11 or 19 years. Last time Navakalevara festival was celebrated in the year 1996.

How to reach Jagannath Temple, Puri, Orissa

Railway Station / By Train

Puri Railway Station, served by South Eastern Railways, is well connected with all the major cities of India.

Major Trains to Puri Railway Station

Sri Jagannath Express (Kolkata Howrah Junction Railway Station to Puri Railway Station), Puri - New Delhi Superfast Express, Purushottam Express (Puri Railway Station and New Delhi Railway Station), Tapaswini Express (Puri Railway Station and Rayagada Railway Station), Adi-Puri Express, Kalinga Utkal Express (Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station in Delhi and Puri Railway Station), and Dhenkanal-Puri Passenger are some of the major trains passing through Puri Railway Station. 

By Flight / Airport

Biju Patnaik Airport at Bhubaneshwar (60 km) is the nearest airport to reach Jagannath Temple. Indian Airlines and Jet Airways operate flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Kolkata, Raipur, Chennai, and Hyderabad. 

By Bus / Bus Station

By road, Puri is well connected with other major towns and cities in India. Puri Bus Station is just 1 km from the Puri Railway Station. Jagannath Puri is around 60 km south of Bhubaneswar, the state capital. Regular buses connect Puri to Konark, Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Taptapani, Sambalpur, Kolkata and other nearby towns and cities. 

Tourist Attractions near Puri Jagannath Temple, Orissa

Puri being one of the major pilgrimage destination in Orissa, boasts lots of tourist attractions for pilgrims as well as tourists. Konark Sun Temple dedicated to Lord Surya situated around 34 km from Puri is one of the most famous religious places near Puri. Gundicha Mandir, Dashavatar Temple, Kalijai Temple, the Temple of Seven Mother Goddess, and Loknath Temple (Shiva Temple), Daksina Kali Temple (Daksinakalika Temple), and Astachandi Temple are some of the religious places worth visiting in and around Puri. The Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar is a short drive from Puri.

For tourists and visitors, there are numerous picnic spots in and around Puri. Some of them are Chilka Lake (the largest inland salt-water lagoon), Puri Beach, Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary, Astranga Beach, Balighai Beach, Puri Museum, Sudarshan Crafts Museum, Biswanath Hill (famous for its ancient monastery of Dignag), and the historic Bhoga Mandap.

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Related Posts

Famous Temples in Puri
Tourist Places in Konark, Orissa
The Sun Temple of Konark

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Comments

  1. Lord Jagannath is a revered god among Hindu deities and temple is dated back to generations old. I have visited along with my family in October 2010. Sincere namaskarams to Jagannath. However, the temple priests are too commercial and temple is utterly unorganized.... if you can afford for a guide, you will come to know some interesting facts about god and that place.. some things are believable and some not... Further let me share you about the road route to Puri through Chennai Kolkata Highway.. NH 5 is awesome till Ichapuram (Andhra Orissa border). There your troubles begin.. single road for another 150 KM. Warning: DONT TAKE DIVERSION TO PURI FROM NH 5. Got to Konark first and visit PURI. Diversion road to Puri is about 45 KM. Initial 2km IS finest road... there your troubles begin.. Its fit for nothing.. full of rocks, giant potholes... literally you cant drive car more than 2KM per hour... again last 15KM is fine.. so for about 25km you will see stars in daylight... horrible road... and bros and sis dont expect dhabas to be present on highway... Pack your eatables for entire journey... Only best thing i found is coconut water... so hunger ppl... pack your nuts and biscuits... Coming back to our discussion regarding roads... after Ichapuram,,,, you will pass through many villages like Ganjam, balugoan,,, There are 4-5 railway crossings in between. You cant zoom away here... Always you will notice looooooooong queues of trucks waiting for checkpost clearance, at railway crossings and narrow & shaddy roads wont make your journey pleasant. Truck drivers cook their meals inside their chamber and take rest for hours (not purposely but cant move what to do). You will feel as if all the trucks in India are present there for some demonstration. It is a sign of utterly unorganized transport dept of Orissa. These things apart, Puri Temple is one of its kind for its architecture. Way from Puri to Konark is awesome. You can drive at jet speed sirji.. Simply superb on coastal area... Konark Temple stands out in terms of architecture... Temple is filled in with rocks because it is in dilapidated condition. some part of structure is supported with scaffolding.. Breathtaking.. And guides are well informed about temple... Don’t laugh at their English... hahahahaha.. I couldn’t control my laugh... sorry... but believe me and hire a guide to know some interesting things about secrets behind those artistic sculptures.. Full of sculptures... enjoy maadi... filled with science and planet and solar system.. what not stay there for a week's time to know about the chariot.. okay friends.. Happy Jagannath Yatra... Jai Jagannath Jai Jai Jagannath..Venugopal

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