Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri: Darshan Timing, Facts & Detailed Guide of Temple
I remember vividly as I didn’t know that we are not going to see Jagga ( as he is fondly called with much admiration) on yearly basis. As this continuum will be broken down by the sudden introduction of the pandemic. We went to Shree Mandira as an outside tour event from our department also covering the triangle of Puri, Konark, and Chandrabhaga.
The crowd was, as usual, huge, and with the heat of March it was somewhat manageable, we parked our vehicle in the parking lot and then waited for the bus to carry us to the temple via Grand Road, we then put our belongings, phones in the storage room and then we entered through the main gate by first cleaning our feet and having darshan of Aruna Stambh, reminding me not to step on that black plate called as Yama Sheela placed in front of the gate upon returning( as it was told that stepping on the plate will take away all your fortunes you have got by worshiping) though I am not much of superstitious but a deep overthinker. You just have to enter the temple by taking the 22 staircases and then you don’t have to walk, you will be just attracted towards the main Garbhagriha with all safety( as you have to deposit all your belongings outside the gate).
Upon Darshan, we were lucky to have found pipping hot Mahaprasad with rice, dal, saaga bhaja, vegetable curry, and my favorite Kheer in earth pots served in a very proportional manner on banana leaf which adds in enhancing its flavor and taste by beautifully meeting your every bit of taste buds and with your stomach so full you can literally see your belly getting out. After taking some rest we began exploring every side, corner, mini temple, and garden inside the temple, and with every air, there was a freshness of the place fragrant with sandalwood and flowers. Upon returning from exploration we didn’t forget to buy perfectly caramelized crispy khaja made just to make us forget that we already had eaten so much.
This was only through the Lord’s blessings that we were able to see him so peacefully and clearly like he is always with us and will be and with this assurity we came back from the temple and went straight to Puri beach where they first originated the form of wood and also brought peaceful breeze and cool air of the sea along with him. We then got ready to come back home with a request to Lord Jagannath to Call Us Soon!
Origin Story Of Shree Jagannath Temple
Several narratives center on the Jagannath idol’s beginnings. My favorite rendition of the Mahabharata is by Sarala Dasa, an Odia poet who lived in the fifteenth century. He imagines Krishna’s demise in it. Krishna actually dies in a quite peaceful manner. Krishna is killed by an arrow shot by a hunter named Jara who saw Krishna’s foot poking out from behind a tree and mistook it for a deer’s ears.
Arjuna, who was inconsolable approaches and tries to cremate his friend. Krishna’s heart however doesn’t burn. A celestial voice resonates from the heavens as usual. It instructs Arjuna to drop Krishna’s heart, which is affixed to a plank, into the water. This log slowly circles the globe over ages, traveling from Dwarka’s west coast to Puri’s east shore. And this is how the story of the origin of Lord Jagannath begins.
Jara, the hunter who had killed Krishna, had a second chance at life as Biswa Basu, a member of the Shabara tribe. He finds Krishna’s heart, a congealed blue stone, in the Puri area’s jungles and worships it as Nila Madhava.
One of the most revered and historic Hindu temples in India is the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha. The temple was allegedly constructed in the 12th century by King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty and is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, a manifestation of Lord Vishnu.
The temple complex is encircled by a tall wall and has a floor space of nearly 400,000 square feet. Over 200 feet in height, the main temple is a massive building. It is constructed of sandstone and features a pyramid-shaped roof that evokes a mountain top in the distinctive Kalinga architectural style.
According to folklore, The tribal people of Odisha first worshiped Lord Jagannath as a wooden idol. The Kalinga kings constructed the first temple to house the wooden statue as Lord Jagannath’s worship gained popularity throughout time. The old temple, which was destroyed by Muslim invaders, is thought to have been replaced by the present temple.
The history of the Jagannath Temple has been turbulent, with numerous invasions and attacks by outside invaders. Despite this, the temple has endured and continues to stand as a testament to Odisha’s rich cultural legacy and traditions. With its distinctive Kalinga style and fine carvings, the temple is also an architectural marvel that draws visitors from all over the world.
Shree Jagannath Temple Darshan Timings
The Architecture Of Jagannath Temple, Puri
The Temple of Jagannath, which is situated on an elevated land about 20 feet above the surrounding area’s level, is an impressive sight that can be seen for miles. The main temple, or Vimana, rises 214.8 feet above the ground. It is a beautiful example of Odissian temple architecture in the Pancharath style. Along with the main temple, which has so many intriguing stories related to it, this shrine, which is built in the Kalinga architectural style, also has a number of smaller shrines. Lord Jagannath, his brother Lord Balabhadra, and his sister Goddess Subhadhra are the main deities at this holy sanctuary. The temple’s architecture is simply magnificent, and its antique gates, which provide a glimpse into the skilled craftsmanship of the prehistoric era, are equally impressive. The legendary Ganga dynasty’s Anantavarman Chodaganga Dev (1078–1147 A.D.) is credited with building the current building. The Vimana, also known as the Great Temple, the Jagamohan, the Hall of Audience, the Natamandapa, or Dancing Hall, and the Bhogamandapa, or Refractory, are the four separate buildings that make up the main shrine.
From early in the morning till late at night, the Grand Road (Bada Danda), which leads to the Jagannath Temple, is constantly filled with pilgrims and bustling with activity. Despite the crowds, the atmosphere is simply wonderful both inside and outside the temple. Once-in-a-lifetime travel to this holy location is highly recommended!
There are two entrances on the north and south sides of the Natamandapa. There is a second door to Jagamohan on the south side, and the primary door from Natamandapa to Jagamohan is known as Jaya BijayaDwar. The one door that leads inside Bimana is known as Kalahata Dwara, and it is highly revered.
The shrine contains two Rekha Deula and Pitha Deula temple buildings, with the Vimana displaying Nagara-type Rekha Deula style and the Jagamohana displaying Pitha Deula style.
The Pancharatha ground plan of the Vimana features a vertical shape at the bottom and a curved spire (Shikhar). The principal deities’ idols are housed inside the Vimana on a stone pedestal known as Ratna Singhashana. There are a number of small temples and elevated platforms inside the premises. Besides these, there are seven wells, two gardens named Nilachala Upabana and Koili Baikuntha, a kitchen, and a sacred banyan tree inside.
On an elevated platform known as the “Ratnavedi,” which is located in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the pictures of Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra, and the symbol Sudarshana are installed. Along with the primary deities, the more miniature representations of Laxmi, Saraswati, and Madhab are also placed on the Ratnavedi and worshiped. The stone platform is 16 feet long, 13 feet broad, and 4 feet high. The venue is surrounded by a trail for walking around it.
The temple is enclosed by two enormous walls. The KURMA PRACHIRA (or inner wall measuring 400’X278″) and MEGHANADA PRACHIRA (or outer wall measuring 665″X644′) concentric stone walls, each measuring 400’X278″, were built during the reigns of Purusottama Deva (1467-1497) and Kapilendra Deva (1435-1460), respectively. Their heights range from 20′ to 24′. There are 10.7 acres total in the temple complex. Due to its design like a tortoise, the area between the inner enclosure and the temple compound is known as KURMADEDHA.
The temple features four gates, which are referred to as
SINGHA DWARA (Lion's Gate)
The main entrance to the temple is thought to be the Lion Gate, which is situated on the eastern side of the compound. Due to the two stone lions that flank it, it is also known as the Singha Dwara. The lions guard the temple and shield it from evil spirits and negative energy, according to mythology. Dolamandap Sahi, Matimandap Sahi, Balukamandap, and the Sea are located east of the Singha Dwara. Radhavallabh Matha is also nearby. Mango Math, Emar Math, Neula Das Math, Maharshi Angira’s hermitage, Narayani, Chakra Narayana, Nrusingha, and Bedi Hanuman shrines are only a few examples.
ASHWA DWARA (Horse's Gate)
The Horse Gate, sometimes referred to as the Ashwa Dwara, is situated on the southern flank of the temple complex. The life-size wooden horses that are sculpted on the gate inspired its name. It is thought that during their yearly Rath Yatra event, Lord Jagannath and his siblings leave the temple through this gate. The south side has temples like Balisahi, Shyama, Dakshina, Shmashan, Chandi, and Astha Sambhu.
VYAGRHARA DWARA (Tiger's Gate)
The Tiger Gate, sometimes referred to as the Vyaghra Dwara, is situated on the western side of the temple compound. The two tiger sculptures that stand watch at the gate’s entrance inspired its name. Legend has it that the tigers were positioned at the gate to guard the temple against demons and evil spirits. Baseli Sahi, the Harachandi shrine, and the renowned Shree Lokanath shrine are all located on the west side of the Western Gate, respectively.
HASTI DWARA (Elephant's Gate)
The Elephant Gate, sometimes referred to as the Hasti Dwara, is situated on the northern side of the temple compound. The two elephant sculptures that are carved into the gate are the reason for the gate’s name. The elephants are thought to bless devotees who enter via this gate and represent Lord Jagannath’s strength and power. Markeandeswar Sahi, Markadeswar Tank, Sapta Matruka, Uttarparswa Matha, the Bada Odiya Math of Atibadi Jagannath Das, Trimali Math, and Ramji Math are a few places on the north side of the temple.
According to legend, they stand in for Dharma, Jnana, Vairagya, and Aishwarya. The exquisite Arunsquart in reverence is set on the ARUN STAMBA, which is formed of a single piece of solid chlorite stone, in front of the Singhadwara.
There are two major compounds inside the temple- Inner Compound and Outer Compound
Inner Compound( Bhitara Bedhha)
The inner compound of the shrine contains 76 sacred tiny temples, the most significant of which are as follows:
It is thought to be the inner compound’s oldest shrine. A well-known Shakti Peeth, the Vimala Temple is home to an idol of the four-armed Goddess Vimala. One of her arms is carrying a jar, the other two are holding a rosary and a human figure, and the fourth arm is in the stance known as Varada Mudra. The Prasad, which is daily offered to Lord Jagannath, is first offered to Goddess Vimala, and only then is it referred to as Mahaprasad, which is a fascinating feature of this temple.
This temple is regarded as the keeper of the kitchen fire of the temple.
Satya Narayan Temple
A four-armed granite Shree Narayan idol with a disc in one hand, a conch and a mace in the other two, and the fourth hand signifying the Abhaya Mudra are housed in this temple.
In the Lakshmi Temple, an idol of the goddess Gajalakshmi with four arms—the top two holding two elephants and the lower two symbolizing Varada and Abhaya poses—is thought to have been created by the Ganga Dynasty in the 12th or 13th century AD.
Shree Nrusingha Temple
This temple is devoted to Lord Nrusingha and is thought to have been built before the Jagannath Temple. Although it lacks a prayer hall, the architecture is in the Pancharatha Rekha Deula style. A modest idol of the god is kept at the temple.
This temple, which honors the Sun God, contains a picture of the Sun that is thought to have been transported from the Konark Temple by King Narasimha Deva of the Bhoj Dynasty.
Bata Ganesha Temple
This Lord Ganesha shrine is situated within the grounds, beneath the revered Kalpabata banyan tree.
Nrutta Ganapati Temple
The eight-armed idol of Lord Ganesha in a dance position is kept in the Nrutta Ganapati Temple, which is thought to have been constructed in the 13th century AD.
Along with a picture of the Goddess Saraswati, this temple also contains statues of the Goddesses Sasthi, Savitri, and Gayatri.
On the southern side of the temple is a sizable banyan tree. It is said that anyone who walks around the tree and steps on its shadow would enter Kesavalaya, which is another name for Lord Vishnu’s dwelling.
This shrine, which is devoted to Lord Ganesha in the form of Bhanda Ganesha, contains an idol of the god with four arms and an image of his spouse sitting on his lap. The object, which Gajapati Purushottama Dev brought from Kanchi, is thought to be a tantric image.
The 16-pillared Mukti Mandapa is 38 feet wide and 38 feet long. On this platform, only a select group of priests from specific villages—Deula Purohita, Dandai Sanyasis, Jagadguru Shankaracharya, and Rajgurus—are permitted to sit.
Outer Compound (Bahara Bedha)
About 45 significant temple premises features can be found in the outer complex, including
This kitchen, which has roughly 250 Chulis (hearths), is thought to be the biggest of its sort in the entire globe. In this kitchen, cooking is done the old-fashioned way with charcoal and earthen pots. This kitchen is only accessible to the Suaras (Servitors) and their assistance. The kitchen is 150 feet long, 100 feet broad, and has 32 chambers that are each 20 feet high. Here, food is prepared each day by about 400 helpers and 600 chefs.
Mahaprasad and other well-known, revered sweet treats from Puri are available for purchase here on the property. In this area of the grounds, there is a designated area where devotees can sit and consume the Mahaprasad.
On the eastern flank of the main temple is a sixteen-sided monolithic pillar. This 34-foot-tall pillar was transported by King Dibyasingha Deva from the Konark Temple.
The flight of stairs connecting the temple’s outer courtyard and the inner compound is known as the Baisi Pahacha, or “22 Steps.” However, because of the subsequent building, only 17 steps are currently visible. As part of their spiritual obligation, believers are expected to sit on these stairs.
On the Singha Dwara known as Patitapabana, there is only one representation of Lord Jagannath. For the benefit of devotees who for some reason are unable to visit the temple, the Lord’s image has been engraved here.
The bathing festival of the main deities is performed on this high-raised pavilion.
Different Temples Inside Shree Mandira (Shree Jagannath Temple)
2. Fate Mahavira
6. Barabhaya Hanuman
11. Ramanath, Badrinath, Dwarakanath
12. Panchamukhi Hanuman
15. BaikunthanathTapaswi Mahabir
16. Sitala and Uttarayani
17. Parsunath and Dhabaleswar
19. Ananda Bazar
30. Bata Ganesha
32. Panchsiva- Lokanath, Hambeswar, Nilakantha, Kapalmochan, Markandeswar
39. Khetrapala- Bhairab and Mukteswar
43. Natua Ganesh
44. Bimala Devi
48. Bhanda Ganesh
51. Bhubaneswari or Kamala and Saraswati, Sabitri, Sati, Devi, Gayatri
52. Laxmi Narayan
53. Bedha Kali
58. Shree Ram, Lakshman, and Sita
Lord Jagannath's Costumes, Or Veshas
Suna Vesha- The eleventh day of Asadha’s bright fortnight.
Banabhojee Vesha- The tenth day of Bhadraba’s dark fortnight.
Kaliya Dalana Vesha- The eleventh day of Bhadraba’s dark fortnight.
Pralambasura Baddha Vesha- The twelfth day of the dark fortnight of Bhadraba.
Krushna Balaram Vesha- The thirteenth day of Bhadraba’s dark fortnight is known as Krushna Balaram Vesha.
Bali Vamana Vesha- The twelfth day of the brilliant Bhadraba fortnight.
Raja Vesha- The full moons of Pausa and Phalguna on the 10th day of Aswina’s bright fortnight.
Radha Damodar Vesha- The full moons of Pausa and Phalguna coincide on the tenth day of the bright fortnight to Aswina.
Thia Khia Vesha- the eleventh day of Kartika’s brilliant fortnight.
Bankachuda Vesha- The twelfth day of Kartika’s brilliant fortnight.
Nagarjuna Vesha- In the Kartika month of Panchuka.
Adakia Vesha- The thirteenth day of Kartika’s brilliant fortnight.
Dalkia Vesha- The fourteenth day of Kartika’s brilliant fortnight.
Raja Rajeswari Vesha- Kartika’s full moon.
Padma Vesha- The second day of the brilliant fortnight of Magha.
SradhaVesha- From the first to the third day of the dark fortnight of Magha.
Gaja Uddharana Vesha- the Magha full moon.
Chacheri Vesha- Phalguna’s full moon until the ninth day of the brilliant fortnight.
Chandana Lagi Vesha- From the 19th day of the dark fortnight to the full moon of Jyestha
Gajanan Vesha- Devasnana purnima
Food And Cuisine
Mahaprasad is the 56 food dishes that are offered to Lord Jagannath in the Temple of Puri. The Bhog/Naivedya presented to him and afterward to Maa Bimala at the Grand Temple (Shree Mandir) is known as “Mahaprasad,” and the leftovers of that Nivedana (after being accepted by the God) are called “Mahaprasad.” Mahaprasad is also known as the well-known Chappan(56) Bhog.
According to legend, He bathes in Rameswaram, meditates in Badrinath, eats in Puri, and retires to Dwarika. As a result, the “Mahaprasad” (and not only prasad) served at Puri’s temple is considered to be of the utmost importance. Mahaprasad is offered for sale in Anand Bazar, also known as the Happiness Mart, which is located on the northeast corner of the temple’s outer enclosure. It is the largest open-air hotel in the world, where tens of thousands of followers shop and eat in unison each day.
There are two varieties of Mahaprasad. Sankudi mahaprasad and Sukhila mahaprasad are the two. In the Grand Temple’s Ananda Bazaar, both kinds can be purchased.
Sankudi mahaprasad comprises dishes like sweet dal, plain dal mixed with vegetables, mixed curries of various sorts, Saaga Bhaja’, Khatta, etc. as well as snacks like rice, ghee rice, mixed rice, cumin seed, and asafoetida-ginger rice combined with salt and many more. In ritualistic ways, all of these are offered to the Lord. According to legend, 56 different varieties of Prasad are served to the Lord each day during worship; these are all produced in the temple’s kitchens and then sold to the faithful at Ananda Bazaar by the Suaras, Prasad’s creators.
The shukhila mahaprasad is made up of dry sweet foods.
Another form of dry mahaprasad, in addition to Sankudi and Shukhila, is Nirmalya. It’s also referred to as Kaibalya.
According to the Skanda Purana, after being removed from the divine deities, objects like flowers, sandal paste, garlands, etc. that are handled with reverence on the Lord, as well as the other divine deities seated on Ratnasinmhasan (thrones) in the temple, are also known as Nirmalya. It has been determined that any divine accompaniment or component that is taken from the Lord and his divine friends is referred to as Nirmalya.
Festival And Celebration In Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri
At 8, 11, 12, and 19 years old, the Jagannath Temple’s distinctive ceremony known as Nabakalebara is enacted. ‘Nabakalebara’ is Arabic for a fresh embodiment. This custom entails changing the wooden idols of the adored deities, and it can be related to various astrological and astronomical calculations.
Nabakalebara is a 12-step process that involves going to a forest, looking for heavenly trees, cutting and molding the trees’ wood, bringing the wood to Puri, creating new idols, burying old idols, and presenting the new idols to the worshipers.
The temple celebrates a total of about 12 main festivals, generally known as “Dvadasa Yatras,” with considerable passion. These include Snana Yatra, Sayana Yatra, Parshwa Parivartana, Deva Utthapana, Daksinayana, Pushyavisheka, Pravarana Sasthi, Chandana Yatra, Akshaya Tritiya, Damanaka Chaturdashi, and Neeladri Mahodaya.
The well-known Rath Yatra festival is one of the most significant events held at the Jagannath Temple in Puri. Each year, thousands of devotees travel to Puri to take part in this spectacular festival. According to the Hindu calendar, this event is observed on the second day of the Asadha month. Three chariots are built each year during the Chariot Festival.
The idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadhra are brought in a spectacular procession on the first day of the yatra to the Gundicha Temple, Lord Jagannath’s aunt’s home, which is just a few kilometers away. The idols are returned to the Jagannath Temple on the tenth day of the celebration; this trek is known as the Bahuda Yatra.
Shree Krishna Janma, Jhulan Yatra, Ganesh Chaturthi, Balabhadra Janma, Saptapuri Amabasya, Rahurekha Lagi, Badi Nrusimha Bije, Chitlagi Amabasya, Rishi Panchami, Holi, Ramnavami, and other festivals are among those observed in the temple.
Tourist Information And Tips
This location has excellent bus, rail, and other transportation connections. The route between Bhubaneswar and Puri is NH-356. For Puri, the following communication options are available.
Through Railways– Through railroad lines, it is connected to interstate travel. From Puri, numerous trains travel up and down to various Indian states. “PURI” is the Puri railway station’s station code. “Puri railway station” is another name for the Puri station. Through the IRCTC website, you can check the train names from your starting point to Puri. All hotels are closest to Puri station, which is located in the center of the city. The Sea Beach is 1.5 kilometers from the Puri station, while the Jagannath Temple is 2 km away.
Bus– There are bus services that run between Kolkata and Puri. However, train contact from other states is better. There is an excellent inter-district bus service to Puri. The Shree Gundicha Temple serves as Puri’s bus terminal. Both the seashore and the Jagannath Temple are 3 kilometers away.
Air– Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar is the closest airport. It is 60 kilometers away from Puri. From the Bhubaneswar railway station, you can take a train, a city bus, or a cab to get to Puri.
Some Interesting Facts About Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri
Visitors to the Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri are sure to be amazed by some of the fascinating things they see there.
Changing Of Flag
The flag flown atop the main temple is changed every evening after sundown. The Gajapati King charged a family of priests with carrying out this task for more than 800 years. One priest changes the flag every evening by climbing the temple’s walls barefoot, with just his bare hands, and without any tools. The temple is supposed to be 45 stories tall or about that height.
It’s noteworthy to note while on the grounds that the temple’s shadow never falls to the ground because of the time of day.
Same From All Directions
When viewed from below, the Nilachakra or Sudarshan Chakra, which is also installed on the top of the temple, appears to be identical in all directions.
Nothing Flies Above
There isn’t a single bird resting or flying above the temple’s spire, in contrast to other temple buildings where they can be spotted there. Nothing, not even airplanes, is visible flying over the temple.
Missing Sound Of Sea
The sound of the sea waves completely disappears as soon as one enters the shrine’s gates and is only audible again once one exits the building.
Opposite Flow Of Air
The air blows from land to sea throughout the day and from sea to land in the evening. In contrast to what occurs everywhere else in the world, this.
Magical Cooking Pots
There are over 250 hearths where 56 different foods are prepared every day for up to 20,000 people and 50,000 people on special occasions, ensuring that not a single morsel is wasted. The fact that earthen pots are stacked one on top of the other, but the pot on top gets cooked first, is the kitchen’s most intriguing feature. The cooking method of the temple is only known to the servants, who are permitted entry, while outsiders are not permitted in the kitchen.
Shree Jagannath Temple holds great significance for devotees. The temple attracts tourists from all over the world because of its distinctive architecture, extensive history, and dynamic culture. It is not merely a place of worship.
For those seeking a deeper understanding of Hinduism and its practices, the temple offers a singular and remarkable experience, from the massive Rath Yatra celebration to the daily rituals and ceremonies. For anyone interested in learning more about the country’s religious and cultural roots, the temple is a must-visit location due to its extensive history and cultural significance. It is a significant monument in India’s legacy.