Jagannath Temple

Puri city is famous for Jagannath Temple. Read further to know more about history and architecture of Jagannath Temple, Puri.

Jagannath Temple Puri – One of India’s most sacred destinations, the Jagannath Temple at Puri was built in the 12th century by Raja Ananta Varman Chodaganga Dev and enshrines the deities of Lord Jagannath, his sister Subhadra, and elder brother Balabhadra. The management of the temple has changed hands since 1558, when it was attacked successively by the Afghan general and the Nawab of Bengal. The temple was restored to its earlier glory after Ramchandra Deb of the Khurda kingdom took charge, and reinstated the wooden images of the deities. The temple was managed by the Mughal administration after Raja Mansingh, Akbar’s general, annexed Orissa. When the British ruled over the state, the Puri Raja was entrusted with the administration of the temple.

Based on the “rekha deul” design which uses the curvilinear spire to adorn the pancha ratha, the jagannath temple stands 214 feet tall. The temple is enclosed by the “kurma bedha” and the “Meghnad Prachir” enclosures and gates on the four corners. The temple is characterized by a series of large halls, the Viman, Natamandap and Bhog Mandapa.

The margosa wood images of Lord Jagannath are unique to the temple. Apart from the annual rath yatra during which the deities are driven to their country home in massive chariots, drawing huge crowds, the Navakalebar ceremony is also eagerly looked forward to by pilgrims. The deities are believed to change their body during the period when one Ashadha month is followed by another Ashadha month.

The deities are believed to be 4 in number initially, but some historians opine that Lord Jagannath was the sole deity worshipped in the shrine since its construction. The image of Durga is believed to have been installed at the temple at a later date, and some scholars have surmised that the three original images represented Shiva, Vishnu, and Shakti.

Puri is 65 kms from the nearest airport at Bhubaneswar. As a rail head, it enjoys rail links with all major cities.

Location : Puri in Orissa.

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