Built in: 12th Century
Built by: Ganga King Chadagangadeva
Also known as: White Pagoda
name Jagannatha or Jagannath literally means "Lord of the Universe".
It is said that the present temple was begun by King 'Chora Ganga
Deva' and finished by his descendant, 'Anangabhima Deva', in the
Main Temple Structure
The main temple structure is 65m (214 feet) high and is built on
elevated ground, which makes it look even larger and adds to the
imposing impression you get as you first come within sight of the
temple. The temple complex comprises an area of 10.7 acres and is
enclosed by two rectangular walls. The outer enclosure is called
"Meghanada Prachira". The walls are 6m (20 feet) high.
The inner wall is called "Kurmabedha". The walls were
built during the 15th or 16th century.
temple is said to have the largest kitchen in the world and feeds
thousands of devotees every day. The kitchen can prepare food for
100,000 people on a festival day and 25,000 are not unusual for
a normal day. There are 36 traditional communities ('Chatisha Niyaga')
who render a specific hereditary service to the Deities. The temple
has as many as 6,000 priests.
There is a wheel on top of the Jagannatha Temple made of an alloy
of eight different metals known as "Asta - Dhatu". It
is known as the "Nila Chakra" (blue wheel). It is 11 feet
8 inches high and has a circumference of about 36 feet. A flag is
tied every day on a mast attached to the Nila Chakra. On every 'Ekadasi'
day a lamp is lit on top of the temple near the wheel.
main temple is surrounded by 30 different smaller temples. The "Narasimha
temple" adjacent to the western side of the 'Mukti-Mandapa'
is said to have been constructed before the present temple.
front of the main gate is an 11m pillar, called "Aruna Stambha",
which used to be in front of the Sun Temple in Konark. It was brought
to Puri during the 18th century. The figure on top of the pillar
is Aruna, the charioteer of the Sun God. In the passage room of
this gate is a Deity of Lord Jagannatha called "Patita Pavana"
(Savior of the most fallen). This Deity is visible from the road
so non Hindus can take 'Darshana' of the Lord.
Four Gate Entrance
There are four gates- the Eastern "Singhadwara" (Lion
Gate), the Southern "Ashwadwara" (Horse Gate), the Western
"Vyaghradwara" (Tiger Gate), and the Northern "Hastidwara"
(Elephant Gate). There is a carving of each form by the entrance
of each gate. The lion Gate, which is the main gate, is located
on Grand Road.
'Chaitanya' used to regularly visit the Jagannatha Temple. In front
of the altar of Lord Jagannatha is a column on which the statue
of 'Garuda' is situated. It is called the "Garuda Stambha"
and is very revered and worshiped, as 'Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu'
usually saw Lord Jagannatha from a distance behind this column.
Behind that column is a moat-like 'Kunda', or ditch, which was sometimes
filled with Lord Chaitanya's tear. Also an impression of Lord Chaitanya's
own handprint is found imbedded in the column.
has been said that "If one is not allowed to enter the temple,
or if he thinks himself unfit to enter the temple, he can look at
the 'Chakra' and wheel from outside, and that is as good as seeing
the Deity." (Cc. M.11.195) Non-Hindus (non-Indians) cannot
enter the temple. Only Indians are allowed in the vicinity of the
temple the people only over here only speak in Hindi or Oriya.
Simple And Sober Touch
Scholars, however, were long puzzled by the plain facade on this
holiest of holy temples, and wondered why it was untouched by Orissa's
rich sculptural heritage. The answer was found in 1975, when archaeologists
first began removing the plaster, and found that the sculpture underneath
indeed rivals that of the other masterpieces of Orissan temple art.
best guess as to the reason for applying the plaster originally
is that an 18th century ruler decided that this would be a way to
protect the temple from the ravages of the salty sea air. Succeeding
rulers continued the practice. As the old plaster is being removed,
archaeologists are also repairing the corroded iron dowels in the
original structure, and replacing broken stones with new ones. Finally,
a clear, thin coating is being applied to the entire structure,
to preserve it for the centuries to come.
of the temple's intense religious importance and hallowed traditions,
entrance is forbidden to non-Hindus.
have a good view of the temple and its compound, visitors are welcome
to ascend to the roof of the Raghunandan Library, which is across
Jagannatha & Other Deities
The main Deities in the temple are Lord Jagannatha, his brother,
Baladeva, and His sister, Lady Subhadra. Lord Jagannatha is another
name for Lord Krishna.
to popular saying: "Being absolute, Lord Jagannatha is
identical with His name, form, picture, qualities, and pastimes.
If one thinks that the form of Lord Jagannatha is an idol made of
wood, he immediately brings ill fortune into his life. A pure devotee
who knows the science of Krishna Consciousness makes no distinctions
between Lord Jagannatha and the actual form of the Lord. He knows
that they are identical, just as Lord Krishna and his soul are one
and the same."
of the other temples within the walls of this temple house Deities
of 'Satya Narayana', Lord 'Chaitanya', 'Ramachandra', 'Gopala',
Hanuman, 'Narsimha', 'Varaha' and others.
Twenty-two steps that take one from Grand Road and connect the
inner and outer wall. Great respect is given to these steps because
many devotees pass here and the dust of their feet sanctifies the
Kalpa means a thousand years and 'Vata' means banyan tree. It
is towards the south side of the temple. It is supposed to be able
to fulfill all desires.
It is a 16-pillar hall known as "Brahmasava" (divine assembly).
Vihar: Approach from the western gate, it is situated between
the outer and inner enclosure. It is an art gallery, which shows
the pastimes of Lord Jagannatha as well as the 12 incarnations of
Kua (Golden Well): Near the northern gate. The water of this
well is used to bath Lord Jagannatha during "Snana-Yatra".
Koila Vaikuntha: In the western portion of the temple between
the outer and inner walls. It is approachable from the northern
gate. During 'Nava-Kalevara' (new incarnation ceremony), when Lord
Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra are newly carved, the old images
are buried here.
After you come up the 22 steps by the Lion (main) Gate, on the right
is Ananda Bazaar, where 'Maha-Prasada' is purchased.
The main temple is the home of Their Lordships Balabhadra (white),
Subhadra (yellow), and Jagannatha (black). They are seated on the
"Ratna Singhasan". Devotees can circumambulate the Deities
between 8.30 and 9.30 am.
Next to the main temple in a straight line is the hall of audience,
which can be entered through 4 audiences, which can be entered through
4 separate doors. The 'Kalaghata' door leads to the sanctum sanctorum.
The southern door leads out of the temple and the northern to the
'Ratna Bhandar' (Treasury house).
Nata Mandira: This is a spacious hall, 21m (65 feet) in length
and 20m (61 feet) wide. This is where the "Garuda Stambha"
is located, where Lord Chaitanya used to stand. It is believed that
the potency of a devotee's prayers to the Lord becomes increased
while he stands near this sacred pillar.
Bhoga Mandap - Next to Nata Mandira, it is a spacious hall, 18m
in length and 17m wide. There are sculptures and paintings about
Lord Krishna's pastimes and other stories in this hall.
TOURS & TEMPLE PANDAS
When one first enters the viewing area to see Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva,
and Lady Subhadra, one is at a good distance from the Deities. With
the help of a temple 'Panda' (Brahmin guide) one can get a closer
view of Lord Jagannatha. The visitor gets his help by giving a donation.
When one gets fairly close to the altar one will be approached for
a donation for the Deities.
TO VIEW THE TEMPLE
One can get a view of the temple from the 'Jaya Balia' lodge or
the roof of the "Raghunandan" Library on Grand Road, opposite
the main entrance of the temple. One can also view some ancient
leaf books in the library for a small donation. The library is open
from 9 am to 8 pm. One can get a good photograph of the temple from
Lord Jagannatha's 'Maha-Prasada' is pure vegetarian spiritual food
offered to Lord Jagannatha. Just by honoring this Maha-Prasada one
makes great spiritual advancement. Every day 56 varieties of Prasada
are offered to lord Jagannatha. The main offering of the day becomes
available anywhere from 3 to 5 pm. The offering times are not exact
and change every day. Maha-Prasada should ideally be eaten while
sitting on the floor, rather than standing or sitting at a table.
get Maha-Prasada, one can go to the main gate of the temple on Grand
Road. While ordering for the Maha-Prasada one should make it clear
how much rice one wants.. Normally Maha-Prasada means a few small
pots of 'Subji' (vegetable), 'Dahl' and a pot of rice ten times
the size of the small Subji pots.
Bazaar: In the bazaar area surrounding the temple, dozens of
shops display and sell images of the central temple deity, Lord
Jagannath, presented in a trinity with his 'brother' Balbhadra and
his 'sister' Subhadra. Even the non-Hindu visitor to Puri will feel
some of the power of this throbbing pilgrimage center. The bazaar
streets immediately surrounding the temple are filled with activity
and bustle, but it is all infused with a palpable sense of gentleness
and good spirit.
Kshira Chora Gopinath:-
The Kshira Chora Gopinath temple is located in Remuna. It
is a small town located 9-km east of Balasore, about halfway
between Calcutta and Puri. The name "Remuna" is
derived from the word "Ramaniya" which means very
A product of the accumulated and crystallized experience of
several centuries, the temple of Lingaraja is the quintessence
of Orissan architecture. In the elegance of its proportions
and the richness of its surface -treatment, it is one of the
most finished and refined manifestations of the temple-architecture
in India. ...