Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in Odisha (Orissa) State
Konark (Oriya: ) (Sanskrit: कोणार्क) is a small town in the Puri district in the state of Orissa, India. It lies on the coast by the Bay of Bengal, 65 kilometers from the capital of the state, Bhubaneswar . It is the site of the 13th-century Sun Temple, also known as the Black Pagoda, built in black granite during the reign of Narasimhadeva-I. The temple is a World Heritage Site . The temple is now mostly in ruins, and a collection of its sculptures is housed in the Sun Temple Museum, which is run by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Konark is also home to an annual dance festival called Konark Dance Festival, held every December, devoted to classical Indian dance forms, including the traditional classical dance of Orissa, Odissi.
On 16th of February 1980, Konark lay directly on the path of a total solar eclipse
EtymologyThe name Konârka is derived from the Sanskrit word Kona (meaning angle) and word Arka (meaning sun) in reference to the temple which was dedicated to the Sun god Surya.
The Sun TempleThe Sun Temple was built in the 13th century and designed as a gigantic chariot of the Sun God, Surya, with twelve pairs of ornamented wheels pulled by seven horses. Some of the wheels are 3 meters wide. Only six of the seven horse still stand today. The temple fell into disuse after an envoy of Jahangir descreted the temple in the early 17th century.
The Sun temple belongs to the Kalingan school of Indian temple architecture. The alignment of the Sun Temple is along the East-West direction. The inner sanctum or vimana used to be surmounted by a tower or shikara but it was razed in the 19th century. The audience hall or jahamogana still stands and comprises majority of the ruins. The roof of the dance hall or natmandir has fallen off. It stands at the eastern end of the ruins on a raised platform.
HistoryIn 1559, Mukunda Gajapati came to throne in Cuttack. He aligned himself as an ally of Akbar and an enemy of the Sultan of Bengal, Sulaiman Khan Karrani. After a few battles, Orissa finally fell. The fall was also aided by the internal turmoil of the state. In 1568, the Konark temple was said damaged by the army of Kalapahad, a general of the Sultan. Kalapahad is also said to be responsible for damages to several other temples during the conquest.
Nearby tourist spots
- Chandrabhaga 3.5 km From Konark Temple
- Ramachandi 8 km From Konark Temple
- Bhagabati Temple, Konark 2 km From Konark Temple
- Kuruma 6 km From Konark Temple
- Puri 35 km From Konark Temple
- Chilika 70 km From Konark Temple
- Gopalpur Beach
- Kenduli Sasan
SuryaSurya (Devanagari: Sūrya, "the Supreme Light" ) Suraya or Phra Athit is the chief solar deity in Hinduism. The term Surya also refers to the Sun, in general.
Surya is the chief of the Navagraha, Indian "Classical planets" and important elements of Hindu astrology. He is often depicted riding a chariot harnessed by seven horses or one horse with seven heads, which represent the seven colours of the rainbow or the seven chakras. He also presides over Sunday. Surya is regarded as the Supreme Deity by Saura sect, which is now a very small following. Smartas worship him as the five primary forms of God.
Surya as the Sun is worshipped at dawn by most Hindus and has many temples dedicated to him across India. He also enjoys worship as a part of the Navagraha. He is especially worshipped in the Hindu festivals of Ratha Saptami, Makar Sankranti, Chhath and Samba Dashami.
DepictionsSometimes, Surya is depicted with two hands holding a lotus in both; sometimes he has four hands holding a lotus, chakra, a conch, and a mace.
Arka formSurya is worshiped in various forms throughout India. One of the most important epithet (form) of 'Surya' is 'Arka'. The "Arka" form is worshiped mostly in North India and Eastern parts of India. The temples dedicated to 'Arka' form of Surya are Konarka Temple in Orissa, Uttararka and Lolarka in Uttar Pradesh, Balarka in Rajasthan. There was an old sun-temple in (Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh) named Balarka Surya Mandir, built by King Tilokchand Arkawanshi in early 10th Century AD. The temple was destroyed in the 14th Century AD during Turkish invasions.
The grandest Surya temple is Konark surya temples built by Ganga Vamsi king Narasimha Dev of Orissa.
The Sun Temple, Modhera, at Modhera in Gujarat, is a temple dedicated to the Hindu Sun-God, Surya. It was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty.
'Mitra' form of Surya'Surya' is also known as 'Mitra' (meaning friend) for his life nourishing properties. Mitra form of 'Surya' had been worshiped mostly in Gujarat, where a clan of Suryawanshi kings was known as Mitrawanshi kshatriyas, also known by its distorted name Maitrakas
Religious role and relationshipsVivasvata (Surya) had three queens; Saranyu (also called Saraniya, Saranya, Sanjna, or Sangya), Ragyi, and Prabha. Saranyu was the mother of Vaivasvata Manu or Sraddhadeva Manu (the seventh, i.e. present Manu) and the twins Yama (the Lord of Death) and his sister Yami. She also bore him the twins known as the Ashvins, divine horsemen and physicians to the Devas. Saranyu, being unable to bear the extreme radiance of Surya, created a superficial entity from her shadow called Chhaya and instructed her to act as Surya's wife in her absence. Chhaya mothered two sons – Savarni Manu (the eighth, i.e. next Manu) and Shani (the planet Saturn), and two daughters – Tapti and Vishti. He also has a son, Revanta, or Raivata, by Ragyi.
Interestingly, Surya's two sons Shani and Yama are responsible for the judgment of human life. Shani gives us the results of one's deeds through one's life through appropriate punishments and rewards while Yama grants the results of one's deeds after death.
In Ramayana, Surya is described as father of the King Sugriva, who helped Rama and Lakshmana in defeating the demon king Ravana. He also trains Hanuman as his guru. The Suryavanshi / Suryavansha dynasty of kings, Rama being one of them, also claims descent from Surya.
In the Mahabharata, Princess Kunti receives instruction for a mantra from the sage Durvasa; by reciting which, she would be able to summon any god and bear a child by him. Incredulous of the power of this mantra, Kunti unwittingly tests it on Surya, but when Surya appears, she gets scared and requests him to go back. However, Surya has an obligation to fulfil the mantra before returning. Surya miraculously causes Kunti to bear the child immediately whilst retaining her virginity so that she, as an unmarried princess, need not face any embarrassment or be subjected to questions from society. Kunti feels compelled to abandon the child, Karna, who grows up to become one of the central characters in the great battle of Kurukshetra.
In ZoroastrianismIn the Vedas, Surya is frequently referred to as "the eye of Mitra, Varuna, and Agni" (RV 1.115.1, RV 6.51.1, RV 7.63.1, WYV 4.35, WYV 7.42, WYV 13.46, AV 13.2.35). This bears striking similarities to Zoroastrian scriptures, where the Sun is described as "the eye of Ahura Mazda".
In astrologyIn Vedic astrology Surya is considered a mild malefic on account of his hot, dry nature. Surya represents soul, will-power, fame, the eyes, general vitality, courage, kingship, father, highly placed persons and authority. He is exalted in the sign Mesha(Aries) and is in decline in the sign Tula (Libra). The strongest placement for Surya is directly overhead in the 10th house, and on the angles (the 1st, 5th and 9th houses). Surya is lord of three nakshatras or lunar mansions: Krittika, Uttara Phalguni and Uttara Ashadha. Surya has the following associations: the colors – copper or red, the metals – gold or brass, the gemstone – ruby, the direction – east and the season of summer. The food grain associated with him (one of Nava Dhanyas) is wheat.
Sun TemplesThere are Surya temples all across India. The most famous is the World Heritage Site of the Sun Temple, Konark, Orissa. Besides Konark, there are another two sun temples in Orissa called Biranchi Narayan Sun Temple in Buguda, Ganjam District and Biranchinarayan Temple, Palia, Bhadrak.
There are sun temples in Modhera, Gujarat, created by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty, in Arasavalli, Andhra Pradesh, Kanakaditya Temple in Kasheli (Dist. Sindhudurg) – Maharashtra, near the famous Galtaji's temple in Jaipur, Rajasthan and in clusters of Navagraha temples in Tamil Nadu and Assam. The Sun Temple at Martand in Jammu and Kashmir and Sun Temple of Multan are temples which were destroyed. The only and the famous Surya temple in northern India is Kattarmal surya mandir in Almora District,Uttarakhand created by King kattarmal in 12 century.
The Gurjars were essentially sun worshipers and some of the sun temples were erected by them during medieval period. The sun temple known as Jayaditya was constructed by Gurjar king of Nandipuri, Jayabhatta II.This temple is situated at Kotipura near Kapika in the Bharukachha district. The Surya temple of Bhinmal known as Jagaswami Surya temple was also erected during this period
FestivalsMakara Sankaranti is most Widely celebrated Hindu festival dedicated to the Sun God. It is celebrated as Makara Sankranti throughout India and as Pongal by Tamils all over the world. People thank the Sun God for ensuring a good harvest and dedicate the first grain to him.
Chhath is another Hindu Festival dedicated to Surya. It is believed to started by Karna, the son of Surya, who became a great warrior and fought against the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra War.
Samba Dashami is another festival celebrated in the eastern coastal state of Orissa, India in the honour of Samba, the son of Krishna who got cured from leprosy by praying to Surya.
Ratha Saptami is a Hindu festival that falls on the Seventh day (Saptami) of the bright half of the Hindu month Maagha. This day is also known as Surya Jayanti because it celebrates the power of the Sun God who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu in his form as Surya is usually worshiped on this day. Usually, Rathasapthami begins in households with a purification bath by holding a few calotropis leaves on one's head and shoulders while bathing and chanting a verse which is supposed to invoke the benevolence of the Lord in all that one takes up the rest of the year. It also involves doing a puja with the ritual 'Naivedyam', flowers and fruits. On this day at Tirumala (Andhra Pradesh), Lord Venkateshwara (Balaji) is mounted on Seven Vahanas (Celestial Vehicles) one after the other starting from Suryaprabha Vahana and ending with Chandraprabha Vahana. Other Vahanas are Hanumad vahana, Garuda Vahana, Peddashesha Vahana, Kalpavruksha vahana and Sarvabhupala vahana. Also chakrasnanam is performed on the same day. A devotee enjoys watching the Lord mounted on different vahanas in one day which is popularly known as Okka roju Brahmotsavam (Single day celebrations).
In MahabharataSurya is not mentioned as one of the Adityas in the first book of the epic Mahabarata, but may be regarded as the compound of the twelve solar deities mentioned there, to be understood in connection to the Jyotisha vedic astrology: Dhatri, Mitra, Aryaman, Sakra, Varuna, Amsa, Vaga, Vivaswat, Usha, Savitri, Tvashtri, Vishnu.
In Mahabharata, Surya is referred to as father of Karna, as he begot the latter on Kunti when she was virgin. With his grace and in order that Kunti is not spoken of badly in the world, Kunti could retain virginhood even after delivering a child.
Surya namaskara, or the "Sun salutation"A well-known Hindu mode of worship of the devotional movements of Surya is done at the rising of the Sun, known as Sūrya namaskāra (sun salutation). Ten yogic postures are assumed in successive flowing movements to complete one namaskar. Twelve sacred Hindu mantras uttered and for each mantra one complete namaskar is done. Ancient practice is to do 108 namaskaras a day. It is considered most auspicious by Hindus to do this.
The 12 mantras for surya namaskara:
1. aum mitrāya namah
2. aum ravayé namah
3. aum sūryāya namah
4. aum bhānavé namah
5. aum khagāya namah
6. aum pushné namah
7. aum hiranyagarbhāya namah
8. aum mārichāyé namah
9. aum ādityāya namah
10. aum sāvitré namah
11. aum ārkāya namah
12. aum bhāskarāya namahThe mantra frequently recited to praise the Surya comes from the Rig Veda, Book 1 Hymn 35:
Throughout the dusky firmament advancing, laying to rest the immortal and the mortal,
Borne in his golden chariot he cometh, Savitar, God who looks on every creature.The Gayatri Mantra is also associated with Surya. Another hymn associated with Surya is the Aditya Hridayam, recited by the great sage Agastya to Rama on the warfield before the fight with Ravana.
The first clear picture of Odissi dance is found in the Manchapuri cave in Udayagiri which was carved during the time of Emperor Kharavela. Flanked by two queens, Emperor Kharavela was watching a dance recital where a damsel was performing a dance in front of the court along with the company of female instrumentalists. Thus, Odissi can be traced back to its origin as secular dance. Later it got attached with the temple culture of Orissa. Starting with the rituals of Jagannath temple in Puri it was regularly performed in Shaivite, Vaishnavite and Sakta temples in Orissa. An inscription is found where it was engraved that a Devadasi Karpursri’s attachment to Buddhist monastery, where she was performing along with her mother and grandmother. It proves that Odissi first originated as a court dance. Later, it was performed in all religious places of Jainism as well as Buddhist monasteries. Odissi was initially performed in the temples as a religious offering by the Maharis who dedicated their lives in the services of God. It has the closest resemblance with sculptures of the Indian temples.
Chilika LakeChilka Lake (Chilika Lake) is a brackish water lagoon, spread over the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Orissa state on the east coast of India, at the mouth of the Daya River, flowing into the Bay of Bengal, covering an area of over 1,100 km2. It is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest lagoon in the World.
It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent. The lake is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals. The lake is an ecosystem with large fishery resources. It sustains more than 150,000 fisher–folk living in 132 villages on the shore and islands.
The lagoon hosts over 160 species of birds in the peak migratory season. Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here. These birds travel great distances; migratory birds probably follow much longer routes than the straight lines, possibly up to 12,000 km, to reach Chilika Lake.
In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
According to a survey, 45 percent of the birds are terrestrial in nature, 32 percent are waterfowl, and 23 percent are waders. The Lagoon is also home to 14 types of raptors. Around 135 rare and endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins have also been reported. Plus, the lagoon supports about 37 species of reptiles and amphibians.
The highly productive chilika lagoon eco-system with its rich fishery resources sustains the livelihood for many fisher men who live in and near the Lagoon. The water spread area of the Lagoon ranges between 1165 to 906 km2 during the monsoon and summer respectively. A 32 km long, narrow, outer channel connects the lagoon to the Bay of Bengal, near the village Motto, recently a new mouth was opened by CDA which has brought a new lease of life to the lagoon.
Microalgae, marine seaweeds, sea grasses, fishes and crabs also flourish in the brackish water of the Chilika Lagoon.
Nalbana Island is the core area of the Ramsar designated wetlands of Chilika Lake
Site of a Shaivite shrine, Beleswar, located 20 km from Puri, has an interesting beach. The road from the Jagannath Temple (Puri) up to the beach is covered with thick casuarina trees where travelers can watch the beautiful sunset, which dips into the sea. While travelling from puri to Beleshwar, you will find village Beladala, which people are known for their simplicity and welcoming attitude towards travellers, and Nuanai, the great river, one of the greatest places around Puri for picnic.
Kenduli Sasan in Khurda district is the birthplace of the Sanskrit lyricist, Jayadeva. Medieval Indian literature refer to this place by the name Kenduvilva.
LocationKenduli Sasan is a village in the banks of the Prachi river in Khurda district. It is only a few kilometers way from the holy city of Puri in Orissa, the seat of worship of the Hindu deity Jagannath. It has recently been recognized as the birthplace of the well-known Sanskrit lyricist, Jayadev
HistoryKenduli Sasan has recently been identified as the birthplace of Jayadeva, who was born into an Utkala Brahmin family. It is also where the poet spent his childhood, with his parents, Bhojadeva and Vamavati. Being called a Sasan (which in ancient Orissa referred to a seat of Brahmin learning), this village appears to have been a center for Hindu literature during the 10th and 11th centuries. Jayadeva himself refers to his birthplace in the seventh song of the Gita Govinda as Kenduvilva, located by the sea[7
Prachi valley has a long history of worshipping Madhava, another name for Krishna. During Jayadeva's period, it was known as a religious place dominated by Vaishnava Brahmins. Even today, the village of Kenduli Sasan is replete with images of Madhava. This indicates that the great poet must have been influenced by the devotional milieu in that area when he composed his magnum opus, the Gita Govinda
TourismKenduli Sasan has several brick temples and sculptures dating back to the time of Jayadeva in the tenth and eleventh centuries A.D., including those of deities Bhairava, Madhava, Ambika, Jageswari. Of significance is an image with heavy matted hair, and both arms broken, which is revered by the local people as the sage 'Jayadeva'. There is also a nearby temple with an image of Nrusimha carrying Lakshmi on his lap, one of the peculiarities of the Ganga dynasty. In fact, several such temples belonging to Jayadeva's period have also been excavated here by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The Jayadeva Sanskrutika Parishad, a cultural organization, has established a museum here containing images and other archaeological relics excavated here. An annual cultural function in honor of the poet Jayadeva is organized at Kenduli.
Bhubaneswar , also spelled Bhubaneshwar (Bhubanēsbara pronunciation (help·info)), is the capital of the Indian state of Orissa, officially spelled Odisha. The city has a history of over 3000 years starting with the Mahamegha-bahana Chedi dynasty (around 2nd century BCE) who had Sisupalgarh near present-day Bhubaneswar as their capital. Bhubaneswar has been known by names such as Toshali, Kalinga Nagari, Nagar Kalinga, Ekamra Kanan, Ekamra Kshetra and Mandira Malini Nagari (City of Temples) otherwise known as the Temple City of India. Bhubaneswar, literally means the Lord (Eeswar) of the Universe (Bhuban). It is the largest city of Orissa, and a center of economic and religious importance in the region today.
Bhubaneswar's possession of magnificent sculptures and architectural heritage, coupled with the sanctity as Ekamrakshetra make this one of the great religious centres of Orissa since early medieval days. With its large number of Hindu temples (over 600 in number), which span the entire spectrum of Kalinga architecture, Bhubaneswar is often referred to as a Temple City of India and together with Puri and Konark it forms the Swarna Tribhuja (Golden Triangle); one of the most visited destinations in East India.
The modern city of Bhubaneswar was designed by the German architect Otto Königsberger in 1946. Like Jamshedpur, Chandigarh, it is one of the first planned cities of modern India. With the Chandaka reserve forest on the fringes, the city with an abundance of in-city greenery, is one of the cleanest and greenest cities of India.
Bhubaneswar replaced Cuttack as the political capital of the state of Orissa in 1948, a year after India gained its independence from Britain. Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are often commonly together known as the twin-cities of Orissa. The metropolitan area formed by the twin cities has a 2011 population of 1.4 million. Bhubaneswar is categorized as a Tier-2 city. An emerging Information Technology (IT) hub, the boom in the metals and metal processing industries have made Bhubaneswar one of the fastest developing cities of India in recent years.
TransportThe headquarters of the Orissa State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) is located in Bhubaneswar. The Bhubaneswar Bus Station is situated at Barmunda, 8 km from the city centre and OSRTC and other private operators run a fleet of buses connecting Bhubaneswar to cities in Orissa and with the neighboring states of Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh. Bhubaneswar is connected to the rest of the country by National Highways-NH 5, which is a part of the Kolkata-Chennai prong of the Golden Quadrilateral and NH 203.
CultureBhubaneswar is supposed to have had over a thousand temples. Although a large number of temples have given way for urban infrastructure, Bhubaneswar still abounds in temples of various deities. This has earned it the tag of the Temple City of India. The most famous ones are Lingaraj Temple, Muktesvara Temple, Rajarani Temple, Ananta Vasudeva Temple. The twin hills of Khandagiri & Udayagiri, 8 km from Bhubaneswar, served as the site of an ancient Jain monastery which was carved into cave-like chambers in the face of the hill. These caves, with artistic carvings, date back to the 2nd century BCE. Apart from the ancient temples few other important temples were built in recent times that includes Ram Mandir, Maa Kanakdurga Pitha and ISKCON temple.
There is an awareness towards preserving the ethos of Oriya culture in the form of Classical Odissi dance, handicrafts, sand artistry, sculpturing as well as theatre and music. Boundary walls and gardens are increasingly being redone to depict the folk art of the region. The Ekamra Haat is a hand-loom and handicrafts market. SRJAN, the Odissi dance academy founded by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra the legendary Odissi dancer is located here. The Rabindra Mandap in central Bhubaneswar plays host to cultural engagements and has an amphitheatre to host theatre and private functions.
Fairs and festivalsOn the day of Ashokashtami in the month of March, the image of Lingaraja (Shiva) and other deities are taken in a procession from Lingaraja Temple to the Rameshwara Temple. Hundreds of devotees participate in pulling the temple car that carries the deities. The deities remain in the Rameshwara Temple for four days.
At the end of January comes Adivasi Mela, a fair that displays the art, artifacts, tradition, culture, and music of the tribal inhabitants of Orissa.
Durga Puja is also an important festival. Various pandals are constructed throughout the city. The largest pujas are the Shahid Nagar Durga Puja, the Nayapalli Durga Puja, and the Rasulgarh Durga Puja. Lakshmi Puja at Laxmisagar near Jharapada is also very famous.
Ratha-Yatra "Temple car Festival" is the most important festival in Orissa and Bhubaneswar alike. The festival is held to commemorate Jagannath, who is said to have been the incarnation of India's revered deities, Vishnu and Krishna.
Jagannath Temple, PuriThe Jagannath Temple in Puri is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath and located in the coastal town of Puri in the state of Orissa, India. The name Jagannath (Lord of the Universe) is a combination of the Sanskrit words Jagat (Universe) and Nath (Lord of). and also, the word "Jagannatha" is evolved from "Jagati" (as an elevated platform or "Ratnabedi" on which the wooden form of Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Subhadra are worshiped on or the temple or its precincts inside the "Narendra Pokhari" ) and "Natha" (means "Lord"). The temple is an important pilgrimage destination for many Hindu traditions, particularly worshippers of Krishna and Vishnu, and part of the Char Dham pilgrimages that a Hindu is expected to make in one's lifetime . The temple was built in the 11th century atop its ruins by the progenitor of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva. The temple is famous for its annual Rath Yatra, or chariot festival, in which the three main temple deities are hauled on huge and elaborately decorated temple cars. Since medieval times, it is also associated with intense religious fervour.
The temple is sacred to the Vaishnava traditions and saint Ramananda who was closely associated with the temple. It is also of particular significance to the followers of the Gaudiya Vaishnavism whose founder, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, was attracted to the deity, Jagannath, and lived in Puri for many years
DeitiesThe central forms of Jagannath, Balabhadra and the goddess Subhadra constitute the trinity of deities sitting on the bejewelled platform or the Ratnavedi in the inner sanctum. The Sudarshan Chakra, idols of Madanmohan, Sridevi and Vishwadhatri are also placed on the Ratnavedi. The deities of Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan Chakra are made from sacred Neem logs known as Daru Bramha. Depending on the season the deities are adorned in different garbs and jewels. Worship of the deities pre-date the temple structure and may have originated in an ancient tribal shrine.
Origins of the templeAccording to recently[when?] discovered copper plates from the Ganga dynasty , the construction of the current Jagannath temple was initiated by the ruler of Kalinga, Anantavarman Chodaganga Dev. The Jaga mohan and the Vimana portions of the temple were built during his reign (1078 - 1148 CE). However, it was only in the year 1174 CE that the Oriya ruler Ananga Bhima Deva rebuilt the temple to give a shape in which it stands today.
Jagannath worship in the temple continued until 1558, when Orissa was attacked by the Afghan general Kalapahad. Subsequently, when Ramachandra Deb established an independent kingdom at Khurda in Orissa, the temple was consecrated and the deities reinstalled.
LegendsLegendary account as found in the Skanda-Purana, Brahma Purana and other Puranas and later Oriya works state that Lord Jagannath was originally worshipped as Lord Neela Madhaba by a Savar king ( tribal chief ) named Viswavasu. Having heard about the deity, King Indradyumna sent a Brahmin priest, Vidyapati to locate the deity, who was worshipped secretly in a dense forest by Viswavasu. Vidyapati tried his best but could not locate the place. But at last he managed to marry Viswavasu's daughter Lalita . At repeated request of Vidyapti, Viswavasu took his son-in-law blind folded to a cave where Lord Neela Madhaba was worshipped.
Vidyapati was very intelligent. He dropped mustard seeds on the ground on the way. The seeds germinated after a few days, which enabled him to find out the cave later on. On hearing from him, King Indradyumna proceeded immediately to Odra desha (Orissa) on a pilgrimage to see and worship the Deity. But the deity had disappeared. The king was disappointed. The Deity was hidden in sand. The king was determined not to return without having a darshan of the deity and observed fast unto death at Mount Neela, Then a celestial voice cried 'thou shalt see him '. Afterwards the king performed a horse sacrifice and built a magnificent temple for Vishnu. Sri Narasimha Murti brought by Narada was installed in the temple. During sleep, the king had a vision of Lord Jagannath. Also an astral voice directed him to receive the fragrant tree on the seashore and make idols out of it. Accordingly the king got the image of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Chakra Sudarshan made out of the wood of the divine tree and installed them in the temple.
Indradyumna's prayer to Lord Brahma
King Indradyumna put up for Jagannath the tallest monument of the world. It was 1,000 cubits high. He invited Lord Brahma, the cosmic creator, consecrate the temple and the images. Brahma came all the way from Heaven for this purpose. Seeing the temple he was immensely pleased with him. Brahma asked Indradyumna as to in what way can he (Brahma) fulfill the king's desire, since was very much pleased with him for his having put the most beautiful Temple for Lord Vishnu. With folded hands, Indradyumna said, "My Lord if you are really pleased with me, kindly bless me with one thing, and it is that I should be issueless and that I should be the last member of my family." In case anybody left alive after him, he would only take pride as the owner of the temple and would not work for the society
The episode of the Lord's grace during a war with KanchiAt one time, a king of Kanchi in the down south remarked that the king of Orissa was a chandala (a man of very low caste or status) because, he performs the duties of a sweeper during the Car Festival. When this news reached the ears of the king of Orissa, he led an expedition to Kanchi. Before that, he implored the mercy of Lord Jagannath. The soldiers of Orissa marched towards Kanchi from Cuttack (then capital city of Orissa, located on the banks of Mahanadi, at a distance of 30 km from Bhubaneswar). It so happened that when the soldiers, headed by the king Purusottam Dev, reached a place near the Chilika lake, a lady, who was selling curd (a milk preparation, sour in taste) met him (the king) and presented a golden ring studded with precious gems and submitted. "My Lord, kindly listen to me. A little earlier, two soldiers riding over two horses (white and black in colour), approached me and said we are thirsty give us curds to drink.' I gave them curds. Instead of giving me money, they gave me this ring and said,'the king of Orissa will come here, after some time, on his way to Kanchi. You present it to him and he will pay you the money.' So my Lord, you take it and give me my dues.
It took no time for the king to know that the ring belongs to Lord Jagannath. He was convinced that Jagannath and Balabhadra were proceeding to the battle field ahead of him to help him there. To perpetuate the memory of this great incident, the king founded a village in the Chilika lake area. As the name of the lady was Manika, the name given to the village was Manika Patana. Even to this day, the curds of this village are famous.
Legend surrounding the Temple OriginThe traditional story concerning the origins of the Lord Jagannath temple is that here the original image of Jagannath (a deity form of Vishnu) at the end of Treta yuga manifested near a banyan tree, near seashore in the form of an Indranila nilamani or the Blue Jewel. It was so dazzling that it could grant instant moksha, so the god Dharma or Yama wanted to hide it in the earth, and was successful. In Dvapara Yuga King Indradyumna of Malwa wanted to find that mysterious image and to do so he performed harsh penances to obtain his goal. Vishnu then instructed him to go to the Puri seashore and find a floating log to make an image from its trunk.
The King found the log of wood. He did a yajna from which god Yajna Nrisimha appeared and instructed that Narayana should be made as fourfold expansion, i.e. Paramatma as Vasudeva, his Vyuha as Samkarshana, Yogamaya as Subhadra, and his Vibhava asSudarsana. Vishwakarma appeared in the form of artist and prepared images of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra from the tree. When this log, radiant with light was seen floating in the sea, Narada told the king to make three idols out of it and place them in a pavilion. Indradyumna got Visvakarma, the architect of Gods, to build a magnificent temple to house the idols and Vishnu himself appeared in the guise of a carpenter to make the idols on condition that he was to be left undisturbed until he finished the work.
But just after two weeks, the Queen became very anxious. She took the carpenter to be dead as no sound came from the temple. Therefore, she requested the king to open the door. Thus, they went to see Vishnu at work at which the latter abandoned his work leaving the idols unfinished. The idol was devoid of any hands. But a divine voice told Indradyumana to install them in the temple. It is believed that this led to the origin of the idiom "Apna Haath Jagannath" or "self-help is the best help". It has also been widely believed that in spite of the idol being without hands, it can watch over the world and be its lord. Thus the idiom.
Ethnic DiscriminationTemple security is selective regarding who is allowed entry. Practicing Hindus of non- Indian descent are excluded from premises, as are Hindus of non-Indian origin. Visitors not allowed entry may view the precincts from the roof of the nearby Raghunandan Library and pay their respects to the image of God Jagannath known as Patitapavana at the main entrance to the temple. There is some evidence that this came into force following a series of invasions by foreigners into the temple and surrounding area. Buddhist, and Jain groups are allowed into the temple compound if they are able to prove their Indian ancestry. The temple has slowly started allowing Hindus of non-Indian origin into the area, after an incident in which 3 Balinese Hindus were denied entry, even though Bali is 90% Hindu.
Cultural IntegrityShrikshetra of Puri Jagannath, as is commonly known, can verily be said to be a truthful replica of Indian culture. To understand this culture, one has to have some idea of the history of this land, which again is different from that of other countries of the world.
Starting from Lord Jagannath himself, history has it that he was a tribal deity, adorned by the Sabar people, as a symbol of Narayan. Another legend claims him to be Nilamadhava, an image of Narayana made of blue stone and worshipped by the aboriginals. He was brought to Nilagiri (blue mountain) or Nilachala and installed there as Shri Jagannath in company with Balabhadra and Subhadra. The images made of wood are also claimed to have their distant linkage with the aboriginal system of worshipping wooden poles. To cap it all the Daitapatis, who have a fair share of responsibilities to perform rituals of the Temple, are claimed to be descendants of the aboriginals or hill tribes of Orissa. So we may safely claim that the beginning of the cultural history of Shrikshetra is found in the fusion of Hindu and Tribal Cultures. This has been accepted as a facet of our proud heritage. The three deities came to be claimed as the symbols of Samyak Darshan, Samyak Jnana and Samyak Charita usually regarded as Triratha (of the Jain cult), an assimilation of which leads to Moksha (salvation) or the ultimate bliss...
Lord Jagannath is worshipped as Vishnu or Narayana or Krishna and Lord Balabhadra as Shesha. Simultaneously, the deities are regarded as the bhairava (Shiva the formidable) with Vimala (the bhairavi or the consort of Shiva) installed in the campus of the temple. So ultimately we find a fusion of Saivism, Shaktism and Vaishnavism of the Hindu religion with Jainism and up to an extent Buddhism in the culture of Jagannath and the cultural tradition so reverently held together in Shrikshetra.
Acharyas and Jagannatha PuriAll of the renowned acharyas except Madhvacharya have been known to visit this kshetra. Adi Shankara established his Govardhana matha here. A number of sites belonging to Ramanujacharya, Nimbarkacharya and Gaudiya Vaishnavism have also been established. Srimad Vallabhacharya has a "baithakji" here also, which he established on his visit to Puri. There is also evidence is that Guru Nanak, Kabir and Tulsidas had visited this place.
Jagannath Temple, Koraput, OdishaSri Jagannath temple (popularly known as "Sabarasrikhetra") is a temple located in Koraput, Odisha. It is not only built as an altar for worship, but also as a multipurpose area for Jagannath consciousness. Jagannath consciousness is the main theme of Jagannath which can not be confined within the limits of a traditional religious theological order, because it is a cult (or even a philosophical system).
It is originated from the tribal culture, and it has no antagonism towards any religion, caste or creed, Practice of tolerance in the real life of the individual and the society wedded to this ideal, is one piece used in the cult. This is practiced at Sabarasrikhetra in letter and spirit. Everybody has free access to this shrine, which virtually demonstrates the very concept of Jagannath consciousness having tribal bias
TransportKoraput has good linkage with other parts of the state as well as some major cities of neighboring states, by means of rail and road. National highway number 26(43) passes through the town which connects it with Raipur and Vishakapatnam. Buses are a plenty from Vishakhatanam and Vizianagaram to Koraput. Now-a-days many private cabs are also available from Vizianagaram, which costs about Rs.220-300 per head. Buses to Jeypore, Jagdalpur, Umerkote, etc., also passes through Koraput.
By Rail, it is well connected with Rayagada, Vishakapatnam, Jagdalpur, Howrah, Bhubaneswar, Rourkela.
Jagannath Temple, BaripadaSri Jagannath Temple is a famous Hindu temple located in baripada, Mayurbhanj district, in the state of Odisha, India The name Jagannath (Lord of the Universe) is a combination of the Sanskrit words Jagat (Universe) and Nath (Lord of).
The sikhara is a pancharatha one
TransportationBaripada railway station was one of the earliest railway stations in Odisha. The then ruler of Mayurbhanj, Maharaja Krushna Chandra Bhanjdeo, connected Baripada by a narrow-gauge rail network to the Howrah-Chennai railway corridor. The first ever airport during the British Raj in Odisha also stands onto this date at sites of Rajabasa (16 km from city) and Rasgovindpur (60 km from the city) with their 2 km-long runways which were constructed during World War II.
Now a broad gauge railway line has replaced it which has benefited over 150,000 of this city's population. As of now, a Baripada - Rupsa - Balasore DEMU Pgr. train and a Superfast Express train from this city to the state capital Bhubaneswar have begun their operations. A new train to Kolkata (Shalimar) from Baripada has been running since 2010–11. There is a demand for a direct express train from Baripada to Puri.
Regarding road transport, luxury A/C buses are a popular means of transportation between the cities. There is connectivity to Bhubaneswar, Puri, Sambalpur, Rourkela, Balasore, Angul, Bolangir, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Jamshedpur (144 km), Jhargram, Kharagpur, Ranchi and Kolkata (228 km) from here. The city is 30 km from the starting point of N.H. 5 which goes to Chennai. Also this starting point named Jharpokharia is the meeting point of NH 5 (now NH 18) and NH 6 (Kolkata-Mumbai). There are a wide range of taxis are available for sight seeing and tours. Similipal National Park is a national park, an Elephant Reserve and a Tiger Reserve situated only 30 km from Baripada.
Jagannath Temple, Nayagarh
Jagannath temple at Nayagarh, was erected by Vinayak Singh Mandhata in between 1788 and 1808 AD. It is unfinished, the architect of this temple was the father of the poet Yadumani. Jagannath temple at Laxmi Prasad area was erected by Jadunath Mangaraja, a king of Khandapada. It was reconstructed in 1972 by one Sri Nilakantha Sahu. Jagannath temple at Khandapada was erected by the king of Khandapada. The temple is in pancharatha Rekha Deula style, while the Jaga mohan and Natamandapa are in Pidha Deula style. The idol of Jagannath called DadhiVanana was brought from the temple at Tikiripada and installed here. The idols from this temple were installed there. Jagannath temple at Tikarapada was constructed with the stones of the tomb of Gosanga Daitya, a demon ruling in this area in the past. The first temple was constructed in 1850. It was due to the flood of the Mahanadi in that year. The Jagannath temple at Ranpur was erected by King Udhaba Singh in 1324-1363 AD. The Jagannath temple at Daspalla is also an old one and Rajapratisthita. Jagannath temple at Sikharpur (Saranakul) is a unique one where bread (Roti) is offered to the Lord, his queen built the Mukhashala. Main festival here is Rath Yatra and Snana Yatra.
Jagannath Temple, Chhatia BataJagannath Temple is located at Chhatia, in Jajpur district. It is associated with Kalki, avatar of Lord Vishnu
LegendThe sage Hadidas who wrote Maalika has his samadhi here. Legend says that Kalki will come here to receive the sword Nandaka from Vaikuntha in a secret place inside the sanctum. Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra are present in the manner described, not like the devi Subhadra in the middle. The last 'AVATAR' of Lord SRI VISHNU is to be known as KALKI, he will once again establish DHARMA and will be instrumental in bringing SATYA YUGA. His mission will start from Chhatia Bata. This is the legend for which the place has got a speciality to the believer of Hinduism.
At Jaganath Dham or any other temple of these deities,the sitting manner of the lords are,Lord Balabhadra,Devi subhadra and Lord Jagannath.But when we speak,we say Jaganath, Balabhadra & Subhadra. Hence in this temple the sitting manner is as we speak, which means we should speak the same as we see. As the satya yug will start from this place this is the beginning of the Truth what we see.According to traditional belief the length of the sword"Nandaka"is approximately the length of twelve hands.
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to the great devotees , wikisources and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )