History of Jagannath temple , Puri

July 22nd, 2010| In India.

History of Jagannath  temple , Puri

Jagannath  temple , Puri

Jagannath temple in Puri is one of the most beautiful constructions in the area of 1070 acres of land and a height of 214 feet.  As per the historical evidence, this temple was built in the 12th century by the king of Kalinga, Ananthavaram Choda Ganga Dev.  His grandson rebuilt the temple which was destroyed in the attacks of the Afghan. There is a traditional story in circulation that this temple was built by king Indradyumna  thousands of years back.  Deity of jagannath can be seen along with the deities of his brother baldev and sister subhadra.  The idols are not fully carved.

There is a story behind this it is said.  One day Lord Jagannath appeared in the dream of king Indradyumna and asked him to make idols out of logs and said that he himself would come as artisan to carve the logs.  He said that nobody should watch him working otherwise he would go off without finishing the work. The wife of Indradyumna wanted to see the artisan’s work and opened the door.  Lord disappeared without finishing the work.  The kitchen in Puri is said to be largest in the world.  Prasadam for 25,000 people is cooked daily.  During the chariot festival the prasadam is prepared for more than one lakh  people. Devotees from all corners of the world throng the temple during chariot festival.

This year the week long celebrations start from 13th July. This tradition started in the medieval period itself   according to the history.  Deities are taken out as a procession in specially decorated chariots to the nearby gudincha  temple. They are taken back to their original places after a week.  Specialty of the rath yatra is that all the people irrespective of their caste, religion, color and gender participate in the festival.  People of other religions and foreigners are not generally allowed into the temple.  The chariots for this yatra are built by 125 artisans after collecting a special log, two months before the festival.  The main chariot is about 14 meters height with 16 wheels.  Devotees compete with each other to pull these artistically decorated chariots. Nobody can stop or divert these chariots.  This rath yatra has been and will be a subject for many writers and poets.

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