The Jagannath Temple is located at Puri in the state of Orissa. It is a holy place of Hindus. It is completely devoted to Jagannath (Lord Krishna). The word Jagannath means: ‘Master of Universe’. It laid its foundation in 12th century. Uncountable people visit this temple for getting peace. This peace is provided by three gods i.e. Lord Krishna, Lord Balram (elder brother of Lord Krishna), and Goddess Subhadra (sister of Lord Krishna). It is one of the dham among the four dhams. The temple takes us to the classical era by its attractive look. There are so many devotees visit this temple every year and they are attracted towards this temple due to its ringing bells, unique pyramid structure of 65 feet high, the engraved walls of each and every sort of information, pillars having pictures depicting the story of Lord Krishna and many other features.
The mandir of Jagannath is located at Puri and one can reach Puri by mean of three modes: Road, Rail and Air. Many cities are connected to Puri by mean of Orissa road transport corporation buses. Buses are available frequently from Bhubaneswar (56 km), Cuttack (32 km) and Konark. There are direct train services in order to connect Bhubaneswar, New Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata. There is not any airport at Puri, visitor has to reach Bhubaneshwar by air at Biju Patnaik airport and then cover up the distance of Bhubaneshwar and Puri.
Security And Tips
CCTV cameras are installed within the temple and metal detectors becomefunctional in order to maintain the security of the temple. Yatri should keep their luggage at a safe and secure place. They should not carry cash and ornaments with them.
When To Visit
The best time to visit the temple is during its Rath Yatra. It is opened for all the days of the week. The timings are: 5 AM to 12 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM. The visit duration of this temple is 1 to 2 hours. There is no entry fee for visiting this temple.
What To See And Do
There are four entrance gates of this temple they are Singhadwara, Ashwadwara, Hathidwara and Vyaghradwara and these names signifies lion, horse, elephant and tiger. The lion gate is the main gate of the temple. When the visitor move towards the main gate of the temple there are number of stairs which are called as Baisi Pahaca meaning twenty-two steps. When these stairs are crossed there comes the main temple on whose left there is a kitchen where food is prepared for 100,000 people on the day of festivals and 25000 people on normal day. The right side of the main temple is occupied by Ananda Bajara which is a food selling market and its literal meaning is pleasure market. After crossing the gateways there comes the four sections of the temple which are: Bhogmandir (hall for taking food), Nathmandir (hall for Music and dance), Jagamohana (where devotees gathered for worship) and Deul (enshrining the idols). The main temple is surrounded by 30 temples. Among them the three important temples are Ganesha temple at the foot of the Kalpavata (very old banyan tree), Vimala temple and Laxmi temple.
After visiting all the temples visitor entered into the main temple. The darshan of the deities takes place during Sahana Mela without charging a single note. Sahana Mela is the public darshan which is carried out by mean of the abakasha puja at the time of around 7 AM to 8 AM. For Special darshan or Parimanik darshan devotees has to par Rs 25/=. Parimanik darshan use to takes place at the time of dhupa pujas which is at around 10 am, 1 pm and 8 pm.
There are three deities in the main temple. These deities are of Lord Krishna, Lord Balram (elder brother of Lord Krishna), and Goddess Subhadra (sister of Lord Krishna). These deities are made up of wood of neem tree and their height is in between 2.5 to 3 meters. Deities of Lord Krishna, Lord Balram and Goddess Subhadra are black, white and yellow in colour. Lord Krishna is dressed with a variety of colours i.e. Sunday (red), Monday (white with black border),Tuesday (five assorted colours), wednesday (blue), Thursday (yellow), Friday (white) and Saturday (black).
After pujaand aarti there is a time for prashad. The food is prepared in the kitchen of the shrine. First of all steamed food is offered to Lord Jagannath and then to Goddess Bimala and thus is converted into Mahaprasad. The fooditems of Mahaprasad comprise cooked rice, dal, vegetable curry, sweet-dishes, cakes etc. After having Mahaprasad yatris use to take an exit from the mandir.
Where To stay
There are so many dharamshalas at Puri to have stay. These dharamshalas are: Dhanjee Munjee Dharmasala, Kothari Dharmasala, Bagedia Dharmasala, Duduwala Dharmasala, Ramachandara Goenka Dharmasala, Khemka Dharmasala etc. Government accommodations are also available at Puri which provides public facilities at reasonable price with discount. These accommodations are: Bagala Dharmasala, Youth Hostel, Pantha Nivas etc.
Where Else To Stay
There are so many hotels near Jagannath Temple which provides luxury. These hotels are Hotel Sukanya, Hotel Surya Beach Inn, Hotel Puri Beach Resort, Hotel Sonar Bangla, Hotel Gobinda Resorts, and Shakti International etc.
There are so many festivals which are celebrated at Jagannath Temple with great joy. These festivals are as follows:
- Snana Yatra
This festival is celebrated on the month of Jyestha’s poornima in which ritual bath alongwith the decorations is given to the god.
- Ratha Yatra
This festival is celebrated during Ashad Shukla Dwitiya. On this occasion the deities are carried out on rath and are taken to Gundicha Temple for nine days and get back to main shrine.
- Sri Hari Sayan
It is the sleeping ceremony of god celebrated during Asadha sukla edadashi (June–July).
- Chandan Yatra
It is celebrated every year in Akshaya Tritiya
During this festival a large number of people wait for different Vesha of idols and these veshas are: Dalakia vesha, Adakia vesha, Laksmi Nrusingha Vesha and Trivikrama vesha. God is decorated with Rajarajeswara vesha during Kartik Purnima.
- Nava Kalevara
This festival is celebrated during one lunar month of Ashadha is followed by another lunar month of Aashadha which happens in 8, 12 or even 18 years. On the occasion of this festival new images are installed and old ones are buried in the shrine buildings at Koili Vaikuntha.
- Anavasara or Anasara
Its literal meaning is vacation. The main deities of Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra & Sudarshan after Snana Yatra are transferred to the clandestine altar called Anavasara Ghar and are placed there upto next dark fortnight (krishna paksha).
- Niladri Bije
The celebration of this festival takes place on Asadha Trayodashi. On this occasion idols get back to ratna bedi.
There are also other places except Jagannath Temple to visit. These places are: Puri Beach, Chilika Lake, Raghurajpur Artist Village, and Konark Beach etc.
Visitor should bring personal diary with the so as to keep record of each and every part of the temple including its architecture alongwith their feeling at that moment.
Hence, the yatra of Jagannath Temple is a devotional tour carried out for getting mental peace.