Gundicha Temple, Puri – History, Timing, & Best Time To Visit
The literal meaning of “breathtaking” clearly gets symbolised in the Bada Danda (Grand Road) of Puri during the chariot festival. The festival where devotees place their Lords in the chariot making a holy journey in the road towards the Gundicha Temple, their another home of Aunt’s. After travelling a certain distance Lord Jagannath rests in the middle of the mid-road. It is believed here God meets all His Bhaktas by giving a closer appearance.
Bada Danda becomes a home for devotees on this day. The skies, the environment, the whole world dances, singing, chanting His name. Seeing Lord in front of them staring with those smiling lips, people forget the miseries, worries and they just go on looking at those eyes, those eyes that can feel the pain of their bhaktas. The eyes of bhaktas get automatically wet, they roll themselves in this holy place taking the names of their Lord yelling “ Hari Bola”. The splendid picture is only seen in the televisions but the completeness of that place, the heaven can be felt only there.
A question has always arisen since I was young “what must be there that the crowd never stopped?” The answers fell into place when my friend took me to visit this auspicious festival. I was just looking at those eyes, those forgiving eyes, those eyes that can absorb the pain of the world, hearing every word of heart and taking all them away at a single glimpse. When the temperature gets too high and still bhaktas never leave holy rope, paving way for the Lord to reach their destination. It is believed that the Lord observes and drenches His bhaktas in the rain of sanctity. During the time of dusk, the women come out of their homes light diyas, the air can flicker the fire but not their belief within God. I saw a devotion that gets stronger with turmoil.
The Gundicha Temple is situated in Puri, an important religious centre in Odisha. The Lord Jagannath Temple, also known as Shree Mandira in this sacred city, is fairly well-known. The Bada Danda or Grand Road, which connects Lord Jagannath Temple and Gundicha Temple, comes to a conclusion at the Gundicha Temple. This temple is well known as the residence of Lord Jagannath’s aunt. It also goes by the name of Jagannath’s Garden House.
The idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Subhadra Devi are transported in chariots from Shree Mandira to the Gundicha Temple during the nine-day Rath Yatra (Chariot Festival). The Gundicha Yatra or Ghosha Yatra are other names for this pilgrimage.
It is said that during their seven-day visit at their aunt’s home, these deities rest and eat food she has prepared. They make their way back to Shree Mandira on the ninth day, which is known as the Bahuda Yatra. During this occasion, a large number of devotees gather in the temple to witness the grand rituals as witnessing both the Yatras is believed to be quite auspicious.
The Gundicha Temple Puri's history
The temple is mentioned in a few legends. One is that Queen Gundicha, the wife of King Indradyumna, was enchanted by the statues of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Subhadra Devi at the Jagannath Temple and asked King Indradyumna to build a temple for the deities so that these idols could be taken to with rituals and processions during a Rath Yatra. As a result, the temple bears Queen Gundicha’s name, who is thought to be the deities’ aunt.
The Building Style Of Gundicha Temple, Puri
The temple is built in the conventional Kalinga manner. It was constructed out of light grey sandstone in the Deula style. The Vimana, Jagamohana, Nata Mandira, and Bhoga Mandapa are the four basic components of the shrine. The main sanctuary is called Vimana, while the assembly hall is called Jagamohana, the festival hall is called Nata Mandira, and the offering hall is called Bhoga Mandapa. There is a kitchen on the property, and a tiny corridor connects it to the temple.
The term “temple” measures roughly 430 feet in length and 75 feet in height. It includes a chlorite-made throne known as the Ratnavedi. When the idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Subhadra Devi are brought to this shrine as part of the Rath Yatra festival rites, their idols are put on this throne.
The temple has two gates: the Nakachana Gate on the east and the Western Gate, which serves as the primary entrance. The deity idols are brought into the temple through the Western Gate and brought out by the Nakachana Gate during the Rath Yatra event.
Activities in Gundicha Temple, Puri
The famous Rath Yatra, when the festival ceremonies are conducted with tremendous fervour, is the perfect time to visit this temple. No other deities are worshipped in the temple besides those seven days. The temple can be explored at any time, not just during the festival season.
Visitors who intend to visit this temple must first see the city’s top attraction, the revered Jagannath Temple. In addition, there are a lot of places to see in Puri, such as the Goddess Vimala Temple, Swargadwar Beach, Puri Beach, Blue Flag Beach, and Sudarshan Crafts Museum.
Timings and Entry Fee for Gundicha Temple in Puri
The Gundicha Temple in Puri does not charge admission. Despite being open every day of the year from 6 am to 9 pm, it is closed for one hour every day from 3 am to 4 pm.
Directions to Gundicha Temple, Puri
Regular trains run to the Puri Railway Station, which is 1.4 kilometres from the temple, frequently from important cities including New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. From the railway station to the Gundicha Temple, local buses, cabs, auto rickshaws, and cycle rickshaws are all fairly accessible.
The primary airport closest to Puri is the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar. It is around 58.1 kilometres away. The best automobile rental businesses in Bhubaneswar make it simple for tourists arriving at the airport to get to Puri by hiring a private taxi. As an alternative, passengers might take the frequent buses that travel from Bhubaneswar to Puri.
Considerations when visiting Gundicha Temple, Puri
- There is a wheelchair-accessible entrance to the shrine.
- Outside the main gate, there is a designated parking space.
- There is no wearing of shoes within the building.
- Mobile phones, food, or any type of leather or electronic object are not permitted within the temple.
The Gundicha temple assimilates in Lord, Bhaktas and the devotion. The place gets spread with all the purity of holiness where the Lord keeps its footprints embarking His role in the worldly problems. The faith and belongingness the devotees have for their Lord gets transparent and clearly reflected at this moment. The crowd embraces the moment and concedes within the Lord.