Pancha Tirtha Odisha
Puri is a famous pilgrim destination of India and is usually famous for Jagannath Temple and the annual Rath Yatra. But the location is more than that as it abodes the famous Pancha Tirtha Temple. Any Hindu pilgrim who plans a visit to Puri, definitely stops at this temple. The temple premises includes five Kunds or water tanks where the pilgrims bath. According to the belief, if a pilgrim baths in the five kunds, he/ she would attain moksha. Holding such a strong Hindu belief, Pancha Tirtha Temple has become a major tourist destination.
The architecture of the temple is quite simple as it has a five kunds attached to the main temple.
The Pancha Tirtha Temple is located in Puri and is surrounded by five famous kunds which hold a strong Hindu belief. To know more read further:
According to the belief, Rohini Kund had been that sacred place which is known to be the abode of Narayana. Located in main Jagannath Temple and opposite Goddess Vimala Temple, the kund has never gone out of water. The secret source of water in this tank is known as Karana Water is a fact but the other interesting fact is that there is a banyan tree near the kund known as Akshayakalpa Vat which holds a holy significance. As per the saying, there was a hunter Jara Savara who accidentally killed Lord Krishna. Upon realising his mistake, he cremated teh god near this kund. And then one fine day, in his dreams, Lord Krishna appeared and told him that his remains would turn into a log and would float in the kund. Jara along with the help of King Indradyumna recognised the holy log and carved the idol of Lord Jagannath from it.
Markandeya Sarovar or Kundis considered as the starting point of the pilgrim tour of Odisha and according to the legend, it is that exact place where God saved Markandeya Saint. It is also said that this the point where he has meditated for a long time. This huge sized tank is situated besides the temple which was dedicated to Lord Shiva but was built by Markandeya saint. The kund is also located south-west of Jagannath temple in Markandeshwar-sahi area.
The belief of a kund being created from the nail of Lord Vishnu, Swetganga Kund is dedicated to the Matsya Avatar of Lord Vishnu. Situated to the west of Jagannath Temple, this kund holds so much of belief that pilgrims who had bathed in the sea, visit here again and have a bath here. The other belief is that this kund is dedicated to King Sweta and the proof being the idols of both being situated on the banks of this kund. The other fascinating fact about this kund is that the Ganga water is from the bottom of the earth and is still sacred for many pilgrims. Swetaganga Kund is located between the Swarg dwar and Lion’s Gate.
The kund famous for Ashwamedha Yagna and the arrival of four deities, Indraymuna Kund is located half km of Gundicha Temple and holds a strong significance in Hindu belief. According to the old tale, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had taken water from this kund for the cleaning of Gundicha Temple. The description of Ashwamedha Yagna has been done in the Mahabharata where after the yagna, King Indradyumna had gifted cows to the Brahmins.
Mahodadhi or the Sea
Considered the sacred water of Odisha, Mahodadhi or the Sea is more than a place; it is a major Hindu pilgrim spot. A tradition started 9 years ago by the present Shankaracharya of the daily Samudra Aarti is still followed with utmost devotion. On every Paush Purnima, the Shankaracharya would himself come out and offer the aarti and prayers to the sea.
Best Time to Visit
Puri is such a city of Odisha which can be visited all seasons but to witness the religious side of the city, try visiting in Monsoon.
Nearby Tourist Attractions
Though this pilgrim destination is a must-visit in the list of Hindu pilgrims, but apart from being just a devotional site, Panchatirtha Temple is surrounded by some beautiful locations nearby like:
- Ramchandi Beach
- Sudarshan Crafts Museum
- Swargadwar Market
- Jagannath Temple
- Golden Beach (Puri Beach)