The Shri Jagannath Temple or Sreekshetra is the main attraction in Puri. It’s a heritage and historical place of Puri. During the Puranic ages, the king of Avanti, Indradyumna, belonging to the Surya God, had built the temple as ordained in a dream. After its destruction, King Jajati Kesari reconstructed the temple. And the existing model was a reconstruction done by King Anangabhimdev. Puri Jagannath temple history is as follows.
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- Puri Jagannath temple
Puri Jagannath temple
King Anangabhimdev did it in 1198 as an expression of his repentance of the killing of Brahmins. The construction incurred an expenditure of 5 lakh tola of gold. Even after that, the temple flourished under the patronage of the Gajapati Kings. Every temple in Odisha follows the same pattern of construction. Biman Natmandir, Bhogmandir, Jagmohan.
The Shri Jagannath Temple, covering 670*640 ft, is surrounded by a 20-24 ft high wall. On four sides, there are four gates. The lion’s gate (Simhadwar), the elephant’s gate (Haridwar), the horse gate (Aswadwar), and Khanjadwar. In front of the east-facing Simhadwar, the main gate is the 34ft high Arun Stambha with the Gaduda on its top.
Both the pillar and motif cut off the chlorite brought from Konark in the 18th century by the Kings of Khurda. Two rock-cut lions are guarding the gate. Likewise, the horse, tiger, and elephant are placed by the southern, western, and northern gates. The temple courtyard is up on 22 steps; the courtyard itself is 22 ft high. The 424×315 ft wall is rectangular. Even there are four gates. The Bhogmandir 58×56 ft is in the east.
Puri Jagannath temple design
But the gate is the images of 9 planets. The Natmandir resting on 16 pillars are 80 ft in length and 80 ft in breadth. Jagmohan in the west is 80×120 ft. And behind it is the Biman or Baro Deul. Even this is 80 ft in length as well as in breadth, & its height is 192 ft. Just after the 2nd wall, there is a unique presentation of the Hindu Pantheon.
A wide conglomeration of all the pilgrim’s centers is marked in Viswanath of Kasi, Ramchandra, Jay-Vijay, Badrinarayan, Radhakrishna Batokrishna, Sarbamangala, Kali, Suryanarayan, Pataleswar, Shitalamadhav, Buddhadev, Gaurangadev.
At the end of the Natmandir, the remnant pillar leaves against which Chaitnyadev gets lost in his inner world. Devotees still touch Shri Chaitanya’s handprint embossed on the pillar. Hearsay that Shri Chaitanya’s physical presence vanished and merged into the image of the god.
Puri Jagannath temple history follows
On the temple wall, there are illustrations of men and women in several exotic amorous postures. The ornamental designs, as well as the pantheon, both are attractions for tourists.
The pat-style illustrations of the Purana-tales on the walls and the bas-relief works on the temple’s pillars are uniquely original. The variety of matter and the brightness of the colour is remarkable.
Similarly, the illustration of the ten incarnations (Dash avatar) along the half of the wall opposite the temple’s inner chamber (Garbhagriha) is interesting. Jagannath god himself is depicted as the 9th incarnation instead of the Buddha.
Shri Jagannath Temple
On the bejewelled altar (Ratnabedi) of the main temple, seven images are of seven jewels (Satratna). The white-faced Balaram, his black-faced brother Jagannath god with a diamond on the forehead, is with him, and their yellow-faced sister Subhadra.
Beside them is the Sudarshan Chakra. On the left is the golden Luxmi, on the silver Saraswati’s right, and at the rear Neelmadhav. The main Deity is made of Brahma wood. Legend has it that Parambrahma, that is naval of Krishna, comes a floating to Puri from Dwarka as the Brahmadaru.
The year in which there are two new moons in the month of “Ashar” is to remake the Divine image. It’s the Nabakalebar ceremony. To the north of the temple, outside the boundary wall, is the Baikunth (garden) Dham, the old image of the Deity is to be buried here before the remaking of the same starts. Read more about Puri Tourist Spot.
According to legend, the son of Brahma, Viswakarma, the father of art and craft alias Shri Jagannath dev being bound by certain conditions once came to make the image in disguise. It was agreed that the image would be made in 21 days behind locked doors in a secret chamber.
The maker started making the image only after he was assured of no trespassing into his territory for these 21 days unless he opened the door himself. But the queen was too impatient to wait for the full term and opened the door on the 12th day only to find an unfinished idol, whose hands and feet were yet to be made, and the maker is gone. The king installed unfinished images in the temple.
Jagannath god is dressed in 21 varieties depending on the different inner constellations. Dresses are also changed at different times of the day. There are various modes of worship called Atkiya.
The name of one’s four generations has to be registered. Rs 22.50 to 132000 can be given as an offering for puja. Lesser amounts can also be offered, but Annadaan (offering of cereal) is not an Atkiya. There are 6000 priests and 20000 workers who maintain their livelihood from the temple. There are 96 religious distinctions of birth among them.
Puri Jagannath temple kitchen
The largest kitchen in the world is also here in this temple. More than 400 cooks are cooking various more than 100 types of Mahaprasad (the Bhog of the gods) in 200 ovens every day. Each day 70 quintals of rice are cooked for 10000 devotees. And during festivals and special occasions, nearly two and a half lakh pilgrims and devotees get Mahaprasad.
Mahaprasad can also be bought in the temple’s Anandabazar. There is a variety of prasad available in different categories of a price. This Mahaprasad, every morsel of which has to be consumed, is never spoilt.
Puri Jagannath temple timings
The temple gates are open from 6:00 am to 11:59 pm. By buying a ticket, one can closely look at the Deity in the morning and evening. However, from the new moon in the Bengali month of Asara to the new moon in the month of Jaistha, God remains sick, so it is forbidden to look at him.
Functionally the image being repainted after the Snanyatra is kept behind the public eye. And for the period the god is sick, pictures are kept for the public to represent the Holy Trio. Only the Hindus are allowed entry into the temple.
Taking photographs is prohibited. However, enthusiasts can collect pictures from the Raghunandan Library just opposite. The non-Hindus, have a glimpse of the Holy premise from this Bhawan (9-12-00 and 16-20-00).
However, donations are expected for this by the library. The Vishnu chakra and the flag at the peak of the eight matter the tower are visible from a long distance. Devotees, too, can tie a flag after submitting the fixed/ required amount of money to the temple office. The Shri Jagannath Temple has been renovated at the cost of over Rupees 2 crore. Throughout the year, 62 different types of religious festivals in the Jagannath god temple.
For more information about Puri and Bhubaneswar, you can read Puri Tourism Guide.
What is the expiry date of Jagannath Puri temple dry Prasad?
The dry Maha Prasad can be stored for a couple of years. But it would be best if you stored it in a cool and dry place. At normal temperature, “Khwaja” prasad stays good for up to 3 months.