Introduction to Jagannath Temple Puri
The idol present in the temple is Lord Jagannath. Lord Jagannath means Lord of Universe. This temple located in orissa is one of the famous and well known sacred pilgrimage spots in India. The Jagannath temple in Puri was built by King Chodaganga whi belongs to the Eastern Ganga dynasty. It is expected that the Jagannath temple is built approximately in the 12th Century AD.
Jagannath temple is protected by two surrounding walls. The conical tower of the temple is about 58 mts high. On this tower the flag and the wheel of Lord Vishnu is placed. This temple contains three principal deities as Krishna, Balabhadra and Subhadra.
Mahaprasada of Jagannath Temple
In the Jagannath temple, they provide the prasasam which is called as Maha-prasada. This Maha-Prasada is pure vegetarian spiritual food whichi is offered to all the devotees. It is beleived that any person who intakes this maha prasadam gets spiritual advancement. 56 varieties of prasada are offered to Lord Jagannath daily. During the preparation of maha prasada, they do not use onion, garlic, chillies. After offering these prasadam to lord jagannath, they are offered to Goddess Bimala Devi in the temple precincts. Hence, this prasadam becomes Mahaprasadam. This Mahaprasadam is available daily from 3-5 pm. This prasadam is also sold outside the sanctum area but within the temple premises.
Pooja Timings of Jagannath Temple
- Dwarpitha and Mangal Aarati at 5 a.m
- "Mailam" at 6 a.m.
- "Abakash" – 6 a.m. to 6.30 a.m
- "Mailam" 6.45 a.m.
- "Sahanamela" – 7 a.m. to 8 a.m
- "Beshalagi" – 8 a.m
- Rosha Homa Surya Puja and Dwarapal– 8 a.m. to 8.30 a.m
- Gopala Ballava Puja– 9 a.m
- Sakala Dhupa(Morning food offering) 10 a.m
- Mailam and Bhoga Mandap
- Madhyanha (Afternoon food offering) 11 A.M. to 1 P.M
- Madhyanha Pahudha - 1 p.m. to 1.30 p.m
- Sandhya Aarati
- Sandhya Dhupa – 7 p.m. to 8 p.m
- Mailam and Chandana lagi
- Badashringar Vesha
- Badashringara Bhoga
- Khata Seja Lagi and Pahuda 12.00
The architecture of the temple
The architecture tha tis being followed in the orissa are based on the classical period. The temple complex is surrounded by a wall. And on each side of it is covered with the gopura or gate. And on top of all these a pyramid-shaped roof is built. This Jagannath temple is one of the largest temple in the state which has a complex covering like several square blocks. The main temple structure of this is 65m (214 feet) high and is built on elevated ground. It occupies about 10.7 acres. The outer enclosure is called Meghanada Prachira which is 200m (665 ft) by 192m (640 ft). The inner wall of jagannath temple is called as Kurmabedha which is 126m (420 ft) by 95m (315 ft).
On top of the Jagannath Temple, a wheel is made of an alloy of eight metals (asta-dhatu). That wheel is called as Nila Chakra (Blue Wheel). This wheel is 3.5m (11 ft 8 in) high. Every day, a different flag is tied to this wheel. One more special thing about this wheel is on every Ekadasi, a lamp is lit on top of the temple near the wheel. There are four gates for this Jagannath temple. They are:
- The eastern Singhadwara (Lion Gate)
- The southern Ashwadwara (Horse Gate)
- The western Vyaghradwara (Tiger Gate)
- The northern Hastidwara (Elephant Gate).
The Lion Gate is the main gate which is located on Grand Road.