Odisha is home to many great wonders which are definitely worth a visit. These include great natural sites like the Chilika Lake and lost and rediscovered temples like the Konark Sun temple, Lingaraj temple and the Jagannath Puri temple in Puri. The Puri Jagannath Temple is one of the most fascinating temples in India.
Puri has long been a favourite destination for people from Calcutta, and for good reason. Let us take a look at 5 reasons to visit Puri Jagannath temple.
It is a thousand years old!
The construction of the temple is supposed to have been started in about 1000 CE and completed in 1174 CE. The 11th century was a time of great culture and prosperity in India – which can be seen by the massive temples and architecture created in that era. Legend says that this temple was built by a Malwa king. The king had a dream that instructed him to go all the way to the seashore at Puri and find a floating log and make idols from that log. As per history, this venture was initiated by an Oriyan king Anantavarma and completed by another king Ananga Bhimdeva. It has been attacked and damaged several times by Muslim invaders – 18 times as per the temple records! In fact, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb ordered the temple to be destroyed, but the local Mughal officials were bribed not to do it. The temple was merely closed and reopened after Aurangzeb’s death.
It’s an amazing architectural feat!
The Puri Jagannath Temple is huge! It is spread over 4 lakh square feet and is surrounded by a high fortified wall. It contains 120 temples and shrines. Due to its sculptural richness, it is one of the most magnificent monuments of India. It has four main sections – the actual garbha griha where the idols are kept, the Mukhsthala or front section, the Natyamandap or performance area and the Bhoga mandap or food serving area. The main dome is 214 feet high and is crowned with a metal Sricharkra or Sudarshan chakra. Just looking at this amazing place and remembering that it was built 1000 years ago will make your heart proud of your culture and history.
It’s a very holy place
As per custom, the Puri Jagannath Temple is said to be part of Chaar Dhaam – along with Badrinath in the North, Dwarka in the west and Rameshwaram in the South. While there are daily elaborate poojas, the temple is famous for the Jagannath rath yatra held in June. Three giant chariots bearing the idols of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are pulled from the Jagannath temple along the Bada danda or main road till the Gundicha temple. Early Europeans told tales of devotees being crushed to death beneath the wheels of these chariots – either by accident or as a form of ritual suicide. This gave birth to the word ‘Juggernaut’ which means something of an irresistible force.
Puri is an amazing place to visit!
Puri has long been a favourite holiday destination and for good reasons. It has a beautiful beach and is listed as one of the top destinations for surfing in India. It is a good place to relax and enjoy the many architectural wonders of the area. Puri is truly a fascinating place. The Cultural heritage of Puri, with its long recorded history, has its beginnings in the third century BC. The monuments, religious sanctity, and way of life of the people with their rich tradition form the cultural significance of Odisha. Indeed, Puri is considered the cultural capital of Odisha.
You can enjoy staying at the Sterling resorts at Puri
The spectacular Golden Sands resort, located where the Bhargavi River meets the sea, is a very comfortable place to stay in with a brilliant view of the estuary. You can chill out in the pool after a long day of temple tourism and look back at a very memorable holiday.
Hope these facts about the Puri Jagannath Temple and the fun-filled destinations to visit in Puri have inspired you to pack your bags and book your tickets right away for a memorable trip to Odisha. Wherever you go, make sure you stay at the luxurious Sterling Holidays for the trip of a lifetime.