Jagannath Temple (Puri)

Jagannath Temple (Puri)

The Jagannath Temple in Puri is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath (Krishna) 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). [ [http://www.shrifreedom.com/VyasaSJC/lessons1VedicConcepts.htm Vedic Concepts] "An example in Sanskrit is seen with the word Jagat which means universe. In Jaganath, the ‘t’ becomes an ‘n’ to mean lord (nath) of the universe." ] [ [http://www.hvk.org/articles/0802/85.html Symbol of Nationalism] "The fame and popularity of "the Lord of the Universe: Jagannath" both among the foreigners and the Hindu world "] The temple is an important pilgrimage destination for many Hindu traditions, particularly worshippers of Krishna and Vishnu. [cite web
url=http://www.indhistory.com/hindu-temple/hindu-temple-jagannath-temple.html
title=Jagannath Temple
publisher=
accessdate=2006-09-12
] 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 chariots. Since medieval times, it is also associated with intense religious fervor [cite web
url = http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,892784,00.html
title=Juggernaut
publisher=
accessdate=2006-09-12
] . 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. [cite web
url=http://vedabase.net/cc/madhya/1/247/en1
title=Bhaktivedanta VedaBase
publisher=
accessdate=2006-09-12
]

Origins of the temple

According to recently discovered copper plates from the Ganga dynasty(reference required), the construction of the Current Jagannath temple was initiated by the ruler of Kalinga, "Anantavarman Chodaganga Dev" [cite web
url=http://www.jagannathpuri.blessingsonthenet.com/
title=Jagannath Temple
publisher=
accessdate
] . The "Jagamohana" 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 Orissan ruler "Ananga Bhima Deva" rebuilt the temple to give a shape in which it stands today [cite web
url=http://orissagov.nic.in/e-magazine/Orissareview/may2006/engpdf/33-36.pdf
title=Lord Jagannath : Symbol of Unity and Integration
publisher=
accessdate=2006-05-01
] .

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 [cite web
url=http://www.jagannathpuri.blessingsonthenet.com/
title=Jagannath Temple
publisher=
accessdate
] .

Legend surrounding the temple origin

The traditional story concerning the origins of the temple is that the original image of Jagannath (a deity form of Krishna) was found near a fig tree in the form of an Indranila or the Blue Jewel. It was so dazzling that Dharma wanted to hide it in the earth. King Indradyumna of Malwa wanted to find the 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. Vishnu and Vishwakarma appeared in the form of artistes and prepared images of Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra from the tree. [cite web
url=http://www.templenet.com/Orissa/puri.html
title=Jagannath Temple at Puri
publisher=
accessdate=2006-09-12
] .

Buddhist Origins

Some archaeologists theorize that there existed a Buddhist stupa at the site of the present one, which may have housed the tooth relic of the Buddha before it was transported to its present location in Kandy, Sri Lanka. [cite web
url=http://orissagov.nic.in/e-magazine/Orissareview/july2003/englishchpter/OldJagannathTemplePuriBuddhistSomavamsiConnections.pdf
title=Oldest Jagannath Temple of Puri The Buddhist and Somavamsi Connections
publisher=
accessdate=2006-09-12
] Around that period Buddhism was assimilated within the Vaishnava fold, whence Jagganath worship gained popularity. This was in the tenth century, during the reign of the "Somavamsi" kings of Orissa. [cite web
url=http://www.orissa.gov.in/e-magazine/Orissareview/jul2005/engpdf/jainism_budhism_in_joga-culture.pdf
title=Jainism and Buddhism in Jagannath Culture
publisher=
accessdate=2003-07-01
]

Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the great Sikh emperor, had donated massive amounts of gold to this temple, (even more than he gave away to the Golden Temple at Amritsar). In his last will, he also ordered that Kohinoor, the most precious and greatest diamond in the world, to be donated to this temple ( but the diamond could never actually make its way to the temple because the British, by that time, had annexed the Punjab and all its royal possessions.)

tructure

The huge temple complex covers an area of over convert|400000|sqft|m2, and is surrounded by a high fortified wall. It contains at least 120 temples and shrines. With its sculptural richness and fluidity of the Orissan style of temple architecture, it is one of the most magnificent monuments of India. [cite web
url=http://www.odissi.com/orissa/jagannath.htm
title=Sri Jagannath
publisher=
accessdate=2006-09-12
]

The main temple is a curvilinear temple and crowning the top is the 'srichakra' (a eight spoked wheel) of Vishnu. Also known as the "Nilachakra", it is made out of Ashtadhatu and is considered sacrosanct. The temple tower was built on a raised platform of stone and, rising to convert|214|ft|m above the inner sanctum where the deities reside, dominates the surrounding landscape. The pyramidal roofs of the surrounding temples and adjoining halls, or mandapas, rise in steps toward the tower like a ridge of mountain peaks. [cite web
url=http://www.cultureholidays.com/Temples/jagannath.htm
title=Jagannath Temple, Orrisa
publisher=
accessdate=2006-09-20
]

The main shrine is enclosed by a convert|20|ft|m high wall. Another wall surrounds the main temple. A magnificent sixteen-sided monolithic pillar sits in front of the main gate. The gate is guarded by two lions. [cite web
url=http://www.odissi.com/orissa/jagannath.htm
title=Sri Jagannath Temple
publisher=
accessdate=2006-09-20
]

Deities

The central forms of Jagannath, Balabhadra and the goddess Subhadra constitute the trinity of deities sitting on the bejewelled platform in the inner sanctum. Worship of the deities pre-date the temple structure and may have originated in an ancient tribal shrine. [cite web
url=http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/nindia/orissa/jaganath.htm
title=Juggernaut of Puri
publisher=
accessdate=2006-09-20
]

Festivals

There are elaborate daily worship services. There are many festivals each year attended by thousands of people. The most important festival is the Rath Yatra or the Chariot festival in June. This spectacular festival includes a procession of three huge chariots bearing the images of Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra through the streets of Puri. [cite web
url=http://www.templenet.com/Orissa/puri.html
title=Jagannath Temple at Puri
publisher=
accessdate=2006-09-20
]

Temple today

In modern times the temple is busy and functioning. The temple's kitchen is considered as the largest kitchen in India. [cite web
url=http://www.odissi.com/orissa/jagannath.htm
title=Sri Jagannath
publisher=
accessdate=2006-09-12
]

The temple is selective regarding who is allowed entry into the grounds. Most non-Hindus are excluded from its premises, [cite web
url=http://www.iskcon.com/culture/holy_places/j_puri.html
title=Jagannatha Puri
publisher=
accessdate=2006-09-12
] as are Hindus of non-Indian origin. Visitors not allowed entry may view the precincts from the roof of the nearby Raghunandan Library. [cite web
url = http://www.planetware.com/puri/jagannath-temple-ind-oris-jag.htm
title = Puri - Jagannath 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. [cite web
url=http://www.odissi.com/orissa/jagannath.htm
title=Jagannath Temple
publisher=
accessdate=2006-09-12
] 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. [ [http://www.telegraphindia.com/1071108/asp/nation/story_8524891.asp Puri temple in Hindu gaffe] , "The Telegraph, Calcutta" - November 08, 2007]

References

ee also

*Jagannath
*Ratha Yatra

External links

* [http://www.jagannathtemplepuri.com/ Jagannath Temple] (jagannathtemplepuri.com)
* [http://ws.ori.nic.in/jagannath/ Jagannath Dham Puri] (Official Website)
* [http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/encyclopedia/rathayatra.htm Jagannath Ratha-Yatra & The Story of Lord Jagannath] (Veda encyclopedia)
* [http://www.odissi.com/orissa/jagannath.htm Odissi Sri Jagannath] (odissi.com)
* [http://www.iskcon.com/culture/holy_places/j_puri.html Jagannath Puri] (iskcon.com)
* [http://www.templenet.com/Orissa/puri.html Jagannath Temple at Puri] (templenet)
* [http://www.indhistory.com/hindu-temple/hindu-temple-jagannath-temple.html The Jagannatha Temple] (indhistory.com)
* [http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/Culture/Archit/Oriya.html Orissa architecture] (sscnet.ucla.edu)
* [http://puri.nic.in/jaga.htm Lord Sri Jagannath Temple - Jagannath Dharma]
* [http://www.lordjagannath.com/oriya_temple.htm Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri, Orissa] World's first and only spiritual portal on "Lord Jagannath Temple" in Oriya language.
* [http://www.shrijagannath.com Shri Jagannath Swami Rath Yatra Video]
*


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