Surprising facts about Jagganath Temple, Puri- A center for beliefs, worship and God


It is not possible that all these food items are cooked in temple premises only. I think people who are selling it are getting it from their homes, declared my mother in law after seeing huge pots of food filled at Ananad Bazaar in Jagganath Puri Temple.

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Even her suspicious made us to intrigue about the truth of the prasad of the Jagganath Temple. Thus we headed to the Rasoishala (kitchen) of Jagganath Temple. The scene we saw was unbelievable, more than 300 people were employed in the cooking of the prasad. There were special arrangements for cleanliness.

Only earthen pots are used for making of the prasad. Atta is grinded inside the temple only. Huge use of coconuts. Coconut water is used for making of daal and curries. The water required for cooking is being taken from a well inside the temple premises. Only men are employed in making of the prasad. Outsiders entry is restricted inside the main kitchen. You can have the glimpse of the food in making through the holes in the kitchen walls.

Don’t know but there are some vibes from Jagganth temple which make you believe in the power of the deities in the temple. My recent visit to Jagannath Puri has made me more inclined towards the God. Though the temple is full of pundits who will ask money for putting tikka (mark on the forehead) to getting prasad but still, the power of the God is surprising here.

The idols of the deities in Jagganth Temple, Puri are deformed and incomplete may be that’s why it is a place of the miracle for the people with deformities or physical disabilities.

Jagganath Puri, Orissa is one of the famous pilgrimages of Hindus. It is one among the “Char Dham” located on the Eastern coast of India in Orissa. The Jagannath Temple is around 1100 years old, rebuilt in 10th century.

Story behind Jagganath Temple, Puri (Uncomplete and without hands idols)

Jagannath is a Hindi word which means “God of World”, is basically a Vishnu temple. In Dvapara Yuga King Indradyumna of Malwa wanted to find the mysterious image of “Moksha” 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. 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. And if somehow, anyone disturbs him, he will discontinue his work and leave it in between.

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 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.

Jagganath Temple

Jagganath Temple is one of the magnificent temples of India. The huge temple complex covers an area of over 400,000 square feet and is surrounded by a high fortified wall. This 20 feet (6.1 m) high wall is known as Meghanada Pacheri. Another wall known as kurma bedha surrounds the main temple. It contains at least 120 temples and shrines huge temple.

Jagganath Temple has four entry doors categorized as East Gate or Lion Gate, Horse Gate or South Gate, north gate or the Elephant Gate, the Vyaghradwara or the Tiger Gate. Lion Gate or East gate is the main entry gate.

Daily six times offerings are made to the God in a dayAnand Bazaar is the place in the temple premises where you can get the prasad of Lord Jagganath. The prasad is chargeable here starting from Rs.10, depending on the quantity and the type of Prasad you are willing to take.

The Jagannath temple at Puri, has been invaded and plundered eighteen times. It is said, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb ordered the demolition of the temple, but the local Mughal officials who came to carry out the job were somehow bribed out of it. Still, you can mind many destructed idols outside the temple. The temple was merely closed. It was re-opened after Aurangzeb’s death in 1707.

Surprising Facts about Jagganath Temple

  1. The flag mounted on the top of the Jagannath Temple flows in the opposite direction to the wind’s course without any scientific background to back it up.
  2. Every day a priest scrambles the walls of the temple with a height equivalent to that of a 45 storey building, to change the flag atop the temple dome. This ritual dates far back to the day the temple was built. The practice is done with bare hands without any protective gear. It’s believed if the ritual is skipped one day from the calendar, the temple will be shut down for a long 18 years.
  3. The temple is reported to have no shadow at all, at any time of the day from any directions possible.
  4. A huge Chakra is placed at the top of the temple which weighs more than the ton and it looks the same from every direction.
  5. Nothing fly above the dome of the temple.
  6. No matter how many visitors this temple witness, the food is never wasted over here.
  7. Once you enter the temple, the audibility to the ocean waves is entirely lost.
  8. In Puri, the breeze contradicts with the law of nature, In the daytime, the breeze blows from land to sea and the opposite in the evening happens.
  9. Most amazing is the prasad is cooked in earthen seven pots. These seven pots are used as vessels mounted over one another and are cooked using firewood. Enchantingly, the topmost pot is cooked first, and the rest follows the same order!

Timings and other rules for the entry in the temple:

a. Temple remains open from Morning 4:00 AM to 12:00 in Midnight. Though there is the crowd all the time after 10:00 PM you will find less crowd and easy darshan of the deities.

b. There are no entry fees for the entry in the temple.

c. The rath yatra occurs every year sometime in the month of July. 2 or 6 weeks before Rathyatra (depending upon the year) there is a ritual of Lord undergoing “Bhukaar” (sick) hence the idols are not on “Darshan”. Devotees to make a note of this before they plan to visit the lord.

d. Mobile phones and non-Hindus are strictly prohibited from the temple.
e. There is the entry fee of Rs.5 for the tour of the kitchen in Jagganath Temple. It is advisable to hire a guide who will charge from Rs.100-Rs.150 for the complete tour.

Special Instructions:

  1. The shoe stand/ mobile hone stands are inoperative after 10:00 PM, so it’s better to keep mobile phones in the hotel room only.
  2. If you visiting the first time, then hire a pundit who will charge Rs. 50 for 7-8 people and direct you towards the deities. Many times, due to crowd you miss the idols of the deities and going again is very tough.
  3. For an easy and clear view of the deities at Jagganath Puri temple, go after 10:00 PM.

Jagganath Puri is 62KMs by road from Bhubaneswar Airport (Biju Pattanaik Airport). You can easily get cabs or buses to the location. Roads are clean and in very good condition. In Puri, near temple premises, you will find people and devotees whole night.

Jagganath Puri, Orissa is about the belief in God. It is said if you believe than there is the god in stone otherwise its just a stone. Same way, if you have believed in God you will feel the vibes in Puri otherwise everywhere it’s same. Go with trust and belief in God and you will surely feel the magic.

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