Jagannath Temple, Puri

Jagannath Temple, Puri

The Jagannath Temple (Odia: ଜଗନ୍ନାଥ ମନ୍ଦିର) in Puri, India, is a sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath, a form of Lord Vishnu. The temple is located on the eastern coast of India in the state of Odisha and is one of the four holy dhams (sacred pilgrimage sites) for Hindus.

The temple has a rich history and the recent temple is believed to have been built in the 12th century by King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva. The temple architecture is a blend of Kalinga and Orissan styles, with intricate carvings and sculptures adorning its walls and gateways. The temple complex is surrounded by a high stone wall, with four gateways leading into the main temple courtyard.

Singhadwara or Lion gate of Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri

The temple is famous for its annual Rath Yatra festival, where the three main deities of the temple, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadra, are taken out in a grand procession on huge chariots. The chariots are pulled by devotees from the temple to the Gundicha Temple, a distance of around 2 kilometers. This festival attracts millions of devotees from all over the world.

Ratha Jatra of Lord Jagannath at Purin in 2019 Captured by Sangram Keshari Senapati

The temple is also famous for its "Mahaprasad", which is a vegetarian meal offered to the deities and then distributed to the devotees as prasad. It is believed that consuming the Mahaprasad will bring good luck and blessings.

Mahaprasad of Lord Jagannath Temple

It is a major pilgrimage spot and a Living Cultural Heritage. And its importance is not limited to religious significance but also architectural, cultural, and archaeological importance. Many rituals are performed here daily, and it is managed by the temple trust, which is a Government of Odisha undertaking.

Abadha of Mahaprabhu Lord Jagannath on Banana Leaf

In conclusion, The Jagannath Temple in Puri is a place of great spiritual and cultural significance for Hindus. With its rich history and architectural beauty, it attracts millions of devotees from all over the world each year. It's also an architectural and archaeological masterpiece and a symbol of ancient cultural heritage.

N.B.: Photographs used here are taken from different people like Manas Muduli, Rajashree Sahoo, and Sangram Keshari Senapati.

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