The Jagannath Temple of Puri is a sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath and located on the eastern coast of India, at Puri in the state of Odisha. The temple is an important pilgrimage destination for many Hindu traditions, particularly worshippers of god Krishna and god Vishnu, and part of the Char Dham pilgrimages that a Hindu is expected to make in one’s lifetime. Even though the icons of most Hindu deities that are worshiped are made out of stone or metal, the image of Jagannath is wooden. Every twelve or nineteen years these wooden figures are ceremoniously replaced by using sacred trees, that have to be carved as an exact replica. The reason behind this ceremonial tradition is the highly secret Navakalevara (‘New Body’ or ‘New Embodiment’) ceremony, an intricate set of rituals that accompany the renewal of the wooden statues. The temple was built in the 12th century atop its ruins by the progenitor of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva. The temple is famous for its annual Rath Yatra, or chariot festival, in which the three main temple deities are hauled on huge and elaborately decorated temple cars. Since medieval times, it is also associated with intense religious fervour. The temple is sacred to the Vaishnava traditions and saint Ramananda who was closely associated with the temple. It is also of particular significance to the followers of the Gaudiya Vaishnavism whose founder, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, was attracted to the deity, Jagannath, and lived in Puri for many years.
Puri – One of the Char Dhams (four most sacred places in India), is a beautiful coastal town in the state of Odisha known at global tourism map for famous Shri Jagannath Temple and Puri Beach along with its proximity to Konark Sun Temple – the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated at the distance of around 65 km from Bhubaneswar – the capital city of Odisha, Puri has different names like Shri Jagannath Puri, Purusottama Puri and the Abode of Lord Jagannath.
For those who love to capture traditional temple architecture or want to collect some evidences of rich architectural history of Odisha, Puri is a place to make their dream come true. There are various prime tourist attractions and holy temples in the city and in its surrounding area.
Shree Jagannath Puri Temple – Explore the Reign of Lord of the Universe
Shri Jagannath Puri Temple is a must see place for the followers once in their lives. Constructed in 11th century and is the starting point of the world famous car festival (Rath Yatra) held in the months of June-July. Entry is limited to Hindus. Do lean against the Shani temple and watch the summit of the temple and do savour the temple Mahaprasada.
Beach of Puri – Charm of Its Own to Keep You Enticed
Being a home to golden sands, soothing sun-bath and colourful sunrise and sunset overlooking the Bay of Bengal, Puri beaches make you feel as if you are in the world of sea waves, cool air from sea side and tranquillity. Here you can bathe and laze or enjoy seeing, the local fishermen plying their catamarans and sail boats.
Shree Lokanath – Lord Shiva Temple
Temple Dedicated to Lord Shiva is said to be the place where Lord Shiva hid himself from Shani, under a pond. The Shiva Linga here is partially submerged and the pond is teeming with fish. Priests here tend to be very strict so do maintain etiquette.
Shree Jagannath Puri Temple
- One of the four dhams i.e. four most sacred pilgrimage places of Hindus. Constructed in 11th century and is the starting point of the world famous car festival (Rath Yatra) held in July. Entry is limited to Hindus. Do lean against the Shani temple and watch the summit of the temple and do savour the temple Mahaprasada. The temple complex is huge and has some very interesting stories associated, priests or pandas are generally the ones who conduct the non Oriya people around and generally mention all these stories although they can demand exorbitant amounts; bring it down to something reasonable. It is possible to go into the sanctum sanctorum and touch the deities in the main temple for a fee.
|Elevation||1 m (3 ft)|
|Architectural styles||Kalinga Buddhist Architecture|
|Number of temples||31|
|History and governance|
|Temple board||Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee, Puri|
|Governing body||Shree Jagannath Temple Office, Puri|