Jagannath Dham Puri of Odisha: A General Information


Puri is a holy city of Odisha, on the coast of Bay of Bengal, located 500 km southwest of Kolkata and 60 km south of Cuttack. It is one of the vertices of the triangle Bhubaneswar - Konark -Puri which concentrates most of the cultural heritage of the state. In 2011, its population is over 2,01026 inhabitants.

Jagannath Dham Puri, the city, probably very old, covered over time by other names as Sri Kshetra, Purushottamapuri or Jagannathapuri . The tradition also identifies the Dantapura, literally the city of the tooth, the city that hosted the tooth of Buddha, a holy relic of the Buddhist world, gathered in the ashes of his cremation pyre, that Ashoka sent to Sri Lanka and which is now in the Dalada Maligawa, the Temple of the Tooth of Kand. Philosophers Hindu Shankaracharya and Chaitanya stayed there.

Puri is dedicated to Krishna, in his form of Jagannath, and it is a place of pilgrimage or tirtha, the holiest of India. One manifestation of this devotion is the most famous festival of chariots or Rathayatra, where the deities of the temple, Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra parade through the city on floats procession ( ratha ). The event, held annually in the month of Ashadha, in June-July, is famous throughout India and recently broadcast live on Indian television.

The Temple of Jagannath at Puri


The Jagannath temple at Puri one of the holiest places of India is the temple of Jagannath in the city, whose main cult statue is supposed to contain the relics of Krishna . The temple, a rarity in India, but common in Orissa, is forbidden to non-Hindus.

This statue, older than the temple itself, a piece of wood is rather coarse. According to legend, the remains of bones of Krishna were collected by pious persons after his cremation, which can be compared with what has been said of the tooth of Buddha, above. Vishvakarma , under the request of Indra or Vishnu would have begun to carve him a shrine, but disturbed in his task, would have left the sculpture in the draft stage. Jagannath Temple at Puri

The temple of Puri as we know it today was built under the ruler of the dynasty of the Eastern Ganga, Anantavarman Chodaganga ( in 1077 - 1147 ) the xii th century. Built in the style characteristic of Orissa, it has a shikara over sixty meters, called deul in this region, preceded by a jagamohan , a natamandir and a bhog mandir . It is enclosed by a wall of 218 meters by 210, 6 meters high and pierced with four doors, to the east, the Singhadwara or Lion's Gate to the south, the Ashwadwara or Door of the Horse, to west, the Vyaghradwara or door of the Tigris and north, the Hatidwara or the Elephant Gate.

In the XII th century when the cult of Vishnu became predominant in Odisha , where the religious movement was imbued with the doctrine Shrîvaishnava South, it was a temple to the measure of devotion.

However, references to a temple of Jagannath at Puri largely precede the reign of Anantavarman Chodaganga as enrollment credit the king Somavamshi Yayati of the restoration of the temple. It is therefore likely that the first temple ever existed, at least from the 10th century and at the 12th century in the development of doctrine Shrivaishnava, School of bhakti (see Hinduism ) including Lakshmi, embodied in Radha , in the worship due to Krishna, a second temple was built on the foundations of the original temple.

The temple was restored in the 14th century and the last time in 1922. They say he has the largest kitchens in the world can prepare up to 100,000 meals on holidays and 25 000 are not unusual on a normal day. 6000 priests in his service, classified into 36 orders.

The temple is sometimes called the White Pagoda , the name given by European sailors for which there was a navigation cue because of its surface covered with stucco. Similarly, the Surya Temple at Konark, located near the shore, a little further north, was the Black Pagoda because of the deposition of dirt that covered the stone before it is restored.

The British were so impressed by the fervor of events that took place during the Rathayatra , they borrowed the name Jagannath (a) to the word juggernaut, which means an unstoppable force.


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