Holy Pilgrimage - Temples dedicated to Jagannath -2

Ananta Vasudeva Temple, Orissa


Ananta Vasudeva Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu located in Bhubaneswar, the state capital of Odisha, India.  The temple was constructed in the thirteenth century, and the complete murties of Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra are worshipped there. Balarama stands under a seven hooded serpent, Subhadra holds Jewels pot and lotus in her two hands keping her left foot over another jewel pot, while Krishna holds a mace, chakra, lotus and a conch. The temple dates back to the period of Chandrika Devi, the daughter of Anangabhima III, during the reign of the king Bhanudeva.



It appears that the original image of Vishnu was worshipped on the spot where the great temple of Ananta Vasudeva was built in the 13th century A.D.Thus in 13th century, Queen Chandrika of Eastern Ganga dynasty was prompted to construct a new temple - the temple of Anata Vasudeva in this place. There must have been an old temple where this Vishnu image was installed. The Marathas, who extended their empire up to river Mahanadi, were responsible for renovating the Vishnu temple at Bhubaneswar in late 17th Century.


In form, the temple resembles the Lingaraj temple, but includes vaishnavite (Lord Vishnu related) sculptures.[3] The temple has longitudinal bands of miniature sikharas (shrines), exactly like those in Lingaraj temple, with the minor difference that the number of the sikharas forming one longitudinal band in its case is only three.[4] The sculpture in the exterior walls varies in character in each temple in Bhubaneswar. Most of the female sculptures in the temple walls are overly ornamanted and lack originality[5]

Difference from Jagannath Temple, Puri

The idols found in the garbhagrha (sanctum sanctorum) of the temple have complete structure unlike the images of the Jagannath Temple, Puri. Here the shrimurtis (idols) are made of black granite stone, rather than wood, as seen in the Puri temple. For this temple only the city gains its name as Chakra kshetra (circular place), whereas Puri is named Shankha kshetra (curved place)


Jagannath Temple, Chhatia Bata, Orissa


Jagannath Temple is located at Chhatia, in Jajpur district, Orissa State, India.. It is associated with Kalki, avatar of Lord Vishnu


The 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.



Comilla Jagannath Temple, Bangladesh


Comilla Jagannath Temple, also known as "Saptaratna Mandir", is a temple dedicated to the Hindu God Jagannath in Comilla, Bangladesh. It dates back to the 16th century, and was built by Sree Sreejoktou Moharaja Rada Kishor Manikuo Bahadur, who was the king of Tripura. The deities of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra were originally installed in a temple in Tripura from where they were subsequently shifted to this temple. The terracotta brick work of the temple is in the typical Bengal style of temple architecture.
Jagannath Temple is one of the oldest temples of Comilla district. It is located two km East from Comilla town, on East Bibirbazar Road, Comilla. (5km east from Comilla dist.)


Dhamrai Jagannath Roth, Bangladesh


Dhamrai Jagannath Roth is a chariot temple, a Roth, dedicated to the Hindu God Jagannath located in Dhamrai, Bangladesh. The annual Jagannath Roth Jatra is a famous Hindu festival attracting thousands of people. The Roth Jatra in Dhamrai is one of the most important events for the Hindu community of Bangladesh. ] Sri Jagannath (Lord of the World) is believed by the Hindus to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the second in the Holy Hindu Trinity of Gods (Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer). Lord Jagannath is also believed to be a deity form of Lord Krishna.
For the thousands of Hindu devotees, it is considered a pious deed and the huge processions accompanying the chariots play devotional songs with drums, tambourines, trumpets etc. A glimpse of Lord Jagannath on the chariot is considered to be very auspicious and saints, poets and scriptures have repeatedly glorified the sanctity of this special festival. The sanctity of the festival is such that even a touch of the chariot or even the ropes with which these are pulled is considered enough to confer the results of several pious deeds or penance for ages.


From the unpublished documents and records it seems that the Dhamrai Roth is said to be about 400 years old. It is learned from those records that from Bangla Year 1079 (corresponding to 1672 in the Gregorian calendar) to 1204 (1697 AD) the Roth that was in existence was made with bamboos. It is, however, not known how this Bamboo made Roth was replaced by the one made of wood. The unpublished sources mention that in between BS 1204 to BS 1340 the Jamindars (Feudal Land lords) of Baliati (now located in Saturia Upazila) had four ‘Roth’s made and they provided all the expenses for its construction.
The last one took a period of one year to build and the carpenters of Dhamrai, Kaliakoir, Saturia and Singair jointly worked to make a Roth which was 60 feet in height and 45 feet wide which was completed in 1340 BS, corresponding to 1933 AD. The newly constructed Roth was 3-storied. Each of the first and second floors had four chambers at the four corners and one chamber on the top floor. These chambers or rooms were called ‘Noborotno’s. The Roth had 32 giant wooden wheels and was adorned with two wooden horses in front as well as carvings and paintings of Hindu deities. Thick ropes made with about 1000 kilograms of jute fiber were used to pull the Roth along. As it was being pulled people lining up the street and on roof-tops would shower bananas and sugar on the Roth amidst cheers and chanting.
After the abolition of ‘jamindari’ system in 1950, Ray Bahadur Ranada Prosad Shaha of Mirzapur, Tangail extended extensive support and financial assistance for the upkeep, maintenance of the Roth, and for hosting of the event with pomp and grandeur. This support continued until 1970 under the auspices of Kumudini Welfare Trust which was formed by Mr. R. P. Saha.
The War of Liberation began in 1971 and this majestic historical Roth was burnt down by the Pakistan Army.  The chief patron, Mr. R.P. Saha, was himself abducted and killed by the Army as an aftermath of ethnic cleansing which the Pakistan Army unleashed on Bangladesh Hindus. After Bangladesh gained independence, in order to carry on the tradition of yearly Roth festival, a makeshift Roth was built with bamboos with the assistance of the daughter of Mr. Saha, Mrs. Joya Pati, Justice Debesh Bhattacharya, Gouro Gopal Saha and Thakur Gopal Saha.

Current Roth (Chariot)

In the year 2006 Mrs. Bina Sikri, the then Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh pledged to provide financial assistance in building a new Roth. Consequently, a 3-storied Roth was built in 2010. The new Roth is 27 feet long and of the same width; it has 15 wheels and is adorned with statues of different gods and goddesses. A Roth Committee of local people of Dhamrai with Mr. Rajib Saha, the son of Mr. R.P. Saha, as the chief Patron, have been organizing and holding this yearly gala event.
The journey of the Roth begins from the Madhabbari Temple to the Gope Nagar Temple, regarded to be the In-Laws house, a distance of about half a kilometer away. During the festival, devotees help pull the Roth with ropes and brought to the Gope Nagar temple. After one week the Chariot is pulled back to Madhab Mandir again which is termed as “Ulto Roth” (উলটো রথ) - Return Journey.

Roth festival

The Roth festival, Roth Mela (রথ মেলা), is a month long, and connected with the Bengali calendar. It takes place during the Bengali month of Ashadh (আষাঢ়). The date is fixed on the second quarter of the moon. Usually the time is during June, but sometimes it also takes place in July. The celebrations are held along the main road of Dhamrai. In addition to various stalls set up for sale of varieties of products, circus and puppet shows also come to provide entertainment to people from all walks of life and across religious faiths.


Gundicha Jagannath Temple, Puri, Orissa


Gundicha Temple, is a Hindu temple, situated in the temple town of Puri in the state of Orissa, India. It is significant for being the destination of the celebrated annual Rath Yatra of Puri. While it remains vacant most of the year, the temple is occupied by images of the deities of Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra for seven complete days (total 9 days including the start and concluding day of Ratha Yatra) every year during the annual Rath Yatra festival.



Known as the Garden House of Jagannath, the Gundicha temple stands in the centre of a beautiful garden, surrounded by compound walls on all sides. It lies at a distance of about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from the Shrimandira, the main temple of Jagannath. The two temples are located at the two ends of the Bada Danda (Grand Avenue) which is the pathway for the Rath Yatra.
The temple is built using light-grey sandstone and architecturally, it exemplifies typical Kalinga temple architecture  in the Deula style. The complex comprises four components: vimana (tower structure containing the sanctum), jagamohana (assembly hall), nata-mandapa (festival hall) and bhoga-mandapa (hall of offerings). There is also a kitchen connected by a small passage  The temple is set within a garden,  and is known as "God's Summer Garden Retreat" or garden house of Jagannath.  The entire complex, including garden, is surrounded by a wall.
The sanctum features a plain raised platform (4 feet (1.2 m) high and 19 feet (5.8 m) long) made of chlorite called Ratnavedi, where the deities are placed during the annual festivities  The temple has two gates. The western gate is the main temple gate, through which the deities enter the temple during Ratha Yatra. The eastern gate, known as Nakachana gate, is used for the departure of the deities.
Except for the 9-day Rath Yatra when Jagannath is worshipped in Gundicha temple, the temple remains empty the rest of the year. Tourists can visit the temple after paying an entry fee. Foreigners (prohibited entry in the main temple) are allowed inside this temple during this period. The temple is under the Jagannath Temple Administration, Puri - the governing body of the main temple. A small band of servitors maintain the temple.

The Rath Yatra

The Rath Yatra starts on the second lunar day (dwitiya) the bright fortnight (shukla paksha) of the Hindu month of Ashadha. One day before the Ratha Yatra, the Gundicha Temple is religiously cleansed for housing the gods.
On the first day of the yatra, the deities are transported in chariots from the main temple to Gundicha temple. This is the famous Rath Yatra or Chariot Festival of Jagannath Puri. The three deities are transported in three magnificent chariots, drawn by the numerous devotees gathered there. The three chariots involved in the chariot procession are: one for each deity with central chariot called the Nandighosha, carrying the main deity of Jagannath and the second chariot known as Taladhwaja carrying Balabhadra, and the third chariot called the Darpadalana carrying Subhadra. The procession progresses down the 3 km long "Bada Danda" (long avenue) and reaches the gates of the Gundicha temple before nightfall. The deities remain in the chariots on the first day and enter the Gundicha Temple on the second day. They reside at the Gundicha temple for the subsequent seven days.

Ratha Yatra rituals

A particular feature in the worship of the deities at Gundicha Temple is that Brahmin temple servants offer the puja instead of daitas, the traditional non-Brahmin servitors of Jagannath who are excluded from worship. Though devadasis generally function as agents of Lakshmi, they offer worship in the Gundicha Temple in the same manner as in the main temple, while Lakshmi is left behind in a storeroom in the main temple. This connotes a different context to the role of the devadasis in the Gundicha Temple. Another unusual feature is that the images are smeared with larger quantities of sandalwood paste, twice a day, as a “cooling agent” (as is commonly done to the goddess Gundicha). Every day of their stay in the temple, the deities are decorated with new dresses.

A major ceremony celebrated in the Gundicha Temple during the Rath Yatra is on the Panchami (5th day of the Ratha Yatra) known as Hera Panchami (Hera means "to see').  This ceremony is attended by a very large number of devotees, who visit the Ratha Yatra Festival. While Jagannath visits Gundicha temple, his wife Lakshmi is left behind in the main temple of Puri. On Hera Panchami, the furious goddess Lakshmi arrives, in the form of the image of Subarna Mahalakshmi, at the Gundicha Temple. She is formally carried in a palanquin with much fan fare and welcomed and worshipped by the priests of Gundicha Temple, who take her to the sanctum to meet Jagannath. The husband and wife seat face-to-face on the porch in the sanctum of the Gundicha Temple; on this occasion devotees flock to the temple to have the darshan (see the holy images). Lakshmi requests him to return home and Jagannath gives his consent by offering her agyan mala (a garland of consent), which the goddess accepts and takes with her while return to the main temple in the evening. Before returning to the temple, to vent her anger at being left out of the vacation, Lakshmi orders one of her attendants to damage a part of Jagannath's chariot, the Nandighosha. This ritual is known as the Ratha Bhanga (the breaking of the chariot).  This is followed by her hiding behind a tamarind tree outside the Gundicha Temple. After some time, she escapes to her home temple in secrecy, through a separate path way known as Hera Gohri Lane, as she fears the repercussions of her angry act
Dakshina Moda
The ceremony of Dakshina Moda (turning south) is observed on the day after Hera Panchami, that is, the sixth day of the Rath Yatra. The chariots of the deities are parked outside the temple, facing the main temple gate (western gate). In preparation for the return journey, the Bahuda Yatra, the chariots are turned to face towards the main temple in the southern direction and are parked near the Nakachana gate (eastern gate) of the Gundicha Temple through which the deities leave the temple. It is said the demon-king of Lanka, Vibhishana got darshan of Jagannath from far away Lanka on this day. Devotees believe one can attain salvation by witnessing this ceremony.
Rasa Lila
Dakshina Moda, marks the beginning of the three-day Rasa Lila of Jagannath  Rasa lila is described in Hindu texts like the Bhagavata Purana and Gita Govinda as a night in Vrindavan when Krishna danced with his gopi-consort Radha and other gopis. The image of Jagannath is taken to the Rasa mandapa (a temple hall) of the Gundicha Temple where hymns from the Gita Govinda are sung for the last 3 days of his stay in the temple. During the Rasa Lila, the interaction between Jagannath-Krishna and the gopis is enacted through the Gita Govinda verses. In the olden days, Devadasis sang the verses, which are now sung by the temple servitors. Vaishnavas thus consider Gundicha Temple as Vrindavan during Jagannath's stay there
Sandhya Darshan and Mahaprasad
As per tradition, during Jagannath's stay in Gundicha temple, the kitchens of the main temple stop preparing Mahaprasad (food offered to deity and given to a devotee as the deity's blessing). The Mahaprasad consists of rice, dal, vegetables etc. The kitchens of the Gundicha temple are repaired and food is cooked there to offer to Jagannath. The day of Sandhya Darshan, (evening prayers) the second last day of the festival, is considered the most important day to have darshan of Jagannath. On this day, as thousands of devotees throng the temple to have darshan of Jagannath and partake of Mahaprasad. 
The return journey of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra to the main temple, after spending seven days in the Gundicha temple, is known as the Bahuda Yatra.  The images of the deities are brought out of the Gundicha temple through the Nakachana Gate during the Pahandi ceremony, to the accompaniment of the beats of cymbals and gongs and the sound of conches being blown.  Odissi and Gotipua dancers serenade to the tune of music in front of the chariots, and martial artists perform banati, a traditional martial art in front of the deities. The deities are taken in the same chariots in which they arrive, pulled by devotees back to the main temple. It is considered auspicious to get a glimpse of the deities on their chariots.


There are many legends linked to the temple and the annual seven-day stay of the central icons of Jagannath and his siblings during the Ratha Yatra.
A legend links the temple to Gundicha, the queen of Indradyumna (the legendary builder of the main temple) - after whom the Gundicha Temple is named. Gundicha had a peep at the divine image of Jagannath being created by the celestial architect Vishwakarma. Impressed by the image, she insisted on her husband building the temple for the deity and starting the Ratha Yatra. Another variant suggests that Jagannath was pleased with her temple and promised to visit her house, now the Gundicha Temple.
As per another legend, when Jagannath (identified with the god Krishna) goes to stay for seven days in the Gundicha Temple, he intentionally leaves behind his consort Lakshmi locked up in a store room in the main Jagannath temple. While in the Gundicha temple, he is exclusively taken care by his gopis (cow-herding girls) led by his gopi-lover Radha like Krishna in Vrindavan. The gopis are symbolized by the temple devadasis on this occasion. When Jagannatha returns to his main temple after his amorous dalliance, Lakshmi meets him at the main temple gate and sprinkles some magical powder on him, which makes him forget about his escapade in the Gundicha Temple, and she is immediately reunited with her husband in blissful love.
One more legend relates the temple's name Gundicha to a local goddess Gundicha, akin to Durga, worshipped to cure smallpox. Gundi in Oriya means smallpox, which may be derived from the Bengali Guti, which is associated with the smallpox-goddess of neighbouring Bengal - Gutika Thakurani. ] Gundicha is considered Krishna-Jagannath's aunt, which he visits with his siblings annually.
Another legend is about the mysterious disappearance and presumed death of the Vaishnava saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at the age of 45. He was instrumental in establishing the Gaudiya Math of Vaishnavas. He lived in Puri for many years and sang bhajans (devotional songs) and led sankirtan processions in front of Jagannath during his Chandan Yatra and Ratha Yatra, along with many devotees. It is also said that Chaitanya used to go into a rapturous mood watching the god’s love play and dance with joy and also fainted many times due to emotion. Daily, he prayed to Jagannath, standing behind the garudastamba (Pillar of Garuda) with tears flowing down his eyes. With permission of the king, Chaitanya once undertook the task of cleaning the Gundicha temple premises a day before the Ratha yatra (this tradition is followed even to this day by the followers of his Gaudiya Math). It is mentioned that a lone Chaitanya, unnoticed by his attendants, was walking towards the Gundicha Temple and was last seen entering the Manikotha, thereafter he was never seen again. This disappearance has remained an unexplained mystery as none of the books written on him have recorded this event. It is believed that he merged with Lord Jagannath at the temple



Jagannath Temple, Alwar, Rajasthan


Jagannath Temple (Devnagari: जगन्नाथ मन्दिर) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in Alwar, India. The temple's presiding deity is anthropomorphic form of Lord Jagannath of Puri, while other two deities are SitaramJi and JankiJi. The temple is located in old part of the city and is famous for its annual Rath Yatra festival where Lord Jagannath is carried in a chariot called Indra Vimana. The chariot (earlier an elephant carriage) had been used by erstwhile Maharaja of Alwar and was donated to the temple lateron to be used for the Rath yatra. The Rath Yatra festival follows different traditions and rituals than those of Puri. Here, it is part of annual wedding celebration taking place between Lord Jagannath and JankiJi.

Alwar (Rajasthani: अलवर) is a city and administrative headquarters of Alwar District in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is located around 160 km south of Delhi, and about 150 km north of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan



Jagannath Temple, Baripada, Orissa


Sri 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.


Jagannath Temple, Chennai


Jagannath Puri Temple Chennai is a Hindu temple dedicated to the divine trinity Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra in Chennai, India. The temple located in Kannathur off the EC Road by the seaside is built in Kalingan style reminiscent of the Jagannath Temple, Puri.  The temple has shrines dedicated to Shiva, Ganesh, Bimala. The annual Rathyatra is the main festival celebrated.



The shrine is located at Reddy Kuppam Road, Kannathur, off New Mahabalipuram Road.

The shrine

The temple was consecrated on 26 January 2001. The shrine is a replica of the Jagannath temple at Puri and is built in Oriya style. The idols of deities at the shrine are made of neem wood, similar to those at the Puri shrine. The shrine is built of black granite originating from Kancheepuram and white marble from Rajasthan. The landscaping around the temple complex covers an area of one acre. The flowers grown in the garden alone are used for the pooja, which is conducted in Oriya style. The priests at the shrine too are from Orissa.
Other sannidhis (sanctum) at the shrine include those of Yoganarasimha, Shiva, Ganesha, Devi Gajalakshmi, and Devi Vimala, in addition to a Navagraha sannidhi (sanctum meant for the nine planets). The entrance to the main shrine has a huge dhwaja sthambha.
The most important festival at the shrine is the rath yatra, which is celebrated on the same day as in Puri. The primary deities of the shrine, namely, Lord Jagannath, Devi Subadra and Lord Balabadra, are taken around the Kannathur village during the occasion. Unlike Puri, the rath is a single one made of stainless steel and decorated with wood and cloth. It is claimed that the shrine is the only temple in the world to have a stainless steel rath for Lord Jagannath.[1]
The temple also has Pata Chitra paintings on the walls and ceilings, similar to Oriya temples, including the depictions of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

The main deities of this temple are Lord Jagannath, Devi Subadra and Lord Balabadra. One can pay obeisance to Lord Yoganarasimha as well. The other Sannidhis in this temple are those of Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Devi Gajalakshmi and Devi Vimala. There is also a Navagraha sannidhi. A huge dhwaja sthambha stands majestically at the entrance to the main shrine.

The shrine is made up of black granite from Kancheepuram and white marble from Rajasthan and built in Oriya style. The temple precincts are aesthetically beautified with green lawns and flowerbeds that lay over an area of one acre. The flowers from the garden alone are used for the pooja. Even the priests are from Orissa and they chant the slokas in Oriya. The pooja is also performed in the Oriya style.

This temple was consecrated seven years ago, on January 26, 2001. It is a replica of the Jagannath temple at Puri. The deities of this temple are also made from the wood of the neem tree from which the original deities of Puri were made.

The most important festival is the rath yatra, which is celebrated on the same day as in Puri. The deities of the temple, Lord Jagannath, Devi Subadra and Lord Balabadra are taken around the Kannathur village during the rath yatra.

 Unlike Puri, there is a single rath, made of stainless steel, which is decorated with wood and cloth. Prof. S.N. Majhi, Managing Trustee of the temple says with an element of justifiable pride that this is the only temple in the world to have a stainless steel rath for Lord Jagannath.

The best of traditions of Orissa’s paintings still lives in Pata Chitras. It is a living art form that exists in Orissa since many centuries. These special paintings with vegetable dye depicting stories from epics are found in ancient as well as in modern temples of Orissa.

The Jagannath temple in Chennai also has Pata Chitra paintings on the walls and ceilings of the shrine of Lord Jagannath. The incarnations of Lord Vishnu are also depicted.

The devotees of Chennai are now privileged to have the darshan and benign grace of the Lord of the universe, Lord Jagannath, in their neighbourhood.




Jagannath Temple, Hyderabad


The Jagannath Temple in Hyderabad, India is a modern temple built by the Oriya community of the city of Hyderabad dedicated to the Hindu God Jagannath. The temple located near Banjara hills Road no.12 (twelve) in Hyderabad is famous for its annual Rathyatra festival. Jagannath means Lord of the Universe. The temple which was constructed during 2009 recently lies in Chandrayangutta.


It is said that this is a replica of original Jagannath Temple of Puri (Orissa) in context of design. The most attracting portion of this temple is its "Shikhara" (the peak/top) measuring around 70 feet in height. The red color of the temple is due to the usage of sand stone (around 600 tonnes were brought from Orissa which is being used to build this whole architecture) and around 60 stone carvers got the blessing to carve this temple. There are shrines dedicated to Lakshmi, along with Shiva, Ganesh, Hanuman and Navagrahas. The amorous sculptures are also found to represent the innermost feelings of human being and this explains to keep them outside the temple always while entering. The sanctum sanctorum houses Lord Jagannath along with his siblings, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra.


While the main structure of temples houses the Lord Krishna along with his brother Balabhadra and Subhadra, it also has five small surrounding temple  to house Lord Ganesh (left to the main entrance), Lord Shiva (in front along the steps), Goddess Bhimala (incarnation of Goddess Paravathi, on left back side), Goddess Laxmi (back right side) and two shrines side by side is Navgraha (Nine Planet Lords) and Shri Hanuman (on middle right side). Each of them having a dedicated priest. There are total 3 entrances to this temple , the main entrance opens right in front of the main temple as shown on the second pic top right.

  There is no entrance fee, no guide's or any sort of brochures. The temple is not opened for all time, 6-12 AM and 5-10 PM is what the Sunday timings



The exterior carving is worth appraising, though its not at very minute level but very impressive. The exteriors are completely made out of sand stone but the inner portion of sanctum sanctorum is a plain brick wall. The pillars are made out of sand stone, and the sanctum sanctorum is separated by three entrance gate inside the temple which is carved out of sand stone. The inner most entrance gate has carving of nine incarnation of Lord Vishnu on the top. The side is occupied by big cobra like sculpt which runs along the perimeter of the gate on both sides. Additional carvings are not that deep and if not looked closely then will look like as it was washed away by air.The 3 idols of Lord Jagannath (Krishna), Balabhadra (his brother) and Subadhra (his sister) are all alike the Idols residing in Puri's temple. Jagannath temple is unique in the sense, all the Idols are carved out of Margosa (Neem) wood instead of stone as found in all other temples. The story behind this is the Lord himself ordered Indrayumna, the king of Malava in Sata Yuga to construct a temple with his Idol made of wood which he will find it floating on the sea. The King found the wood and the sculpture (Vishwa Karma, the architect of Gods) to carve the Idols. Well I am not going deep into the story but this was the reason behind the Idol being made out of wood. This wood was also bought from the Orissa. Probably the only temple (all Jagannath Temple) to have Idols made of wood.

 Interesting aspect of this temple architecture and of the original one in Puri is, the exteriors are embellished with some amorous sculpture of male and female the same way as we have in Khujaraho Temples (pic on right has 5 such sculpt, one of them is a Lion ridding on an Elephant). There are plenty of theories or concepts behind these sculptures on temple walls as I read on web
- These sculpt represents the external desire of human and one needs to raise above all these desires to reach to GOD.
- Some one said, these are carved on exteriors so to protect it from lighting, rains etc as Lord of  water  Indra as himself being a great sex admirer won't destroy anything which itself shows as a sex lover.
- As lord Krishna himself was a great Casanova and thus sculpture was made according to his very nature.

 Also If looked closely, the stone on the back side is little dark in color as compared to the rest of the portions of the temple (see 4th pic from the top). Floors are completely made of granite. The outer architecture from distant almost look like a plastic due to red color, but closely this was well polished and is strong. The pic on left is the top of the main entrance gate and the pillar with sculpt in greeting posture is just in-front of the main steps



Om Tat Sat

(My humble  salutations to the great devotees ,  wikisources  and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )


Vivek Vedic said...

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Stone Carving Architecture In Chennai

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