Jagannath temple mystery solved! 4 facts about puri dham
In this article, I will tell you about the legend of Shri Jagannath and its temple history along with some amazing facts about this temple which many people don’t know.
Visit this site to know facts about more such amazing temples of India: 9 Mysterious Temples in India.
Introduction to jagannath temple
Amidst the beautiful beaches and cerulean seas of the city of Puri in Orissa, lies there a magnificent temple of Lord Jagannath, the mystical form of Lord Vishnu in local folkore.
This temple is one of the most popular and major temples of India and it is highly revered by Hindus infact it comes in the Char Dham temples. It is a very revered Vaishnavite temple. Built by King Anantavarman of Chodaganga dynasty of Orissa, this temple stands till today with utmost resilience and magnificence. The Jagannath temple is one of the 108 Divya Deshams or Sacred temples of Vaishnav people.
It has been a great center for many spiritual and religious movements such as the bhakti cult of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Dharmic renovations of Shri Adi Shankaracharya and the Krishna consciousness movement of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada more commonly known as ISKCON in present time.
Although the Jagannath temple was built by King Anantavarman in tenth century, the Vigrahas or Idols of the Lord are believed to be much older than the temple. The presence of this temple is believed to be from the time of Lord Krishna in Dwapara Yuga.
History of jagannath temple
Though the original temple was built by King Indradyumna, the present day temple complex was built by King Anantavarman of Chodaganga dynasty in 10th century. After it was build, it has been invaded by many muslim fanatics and foreigners.
One such example is aurangzeb who was one of the Muslim fanatics. He tried to destroy the temple many times, However he was defeated everytime.
One more time in 1568, this temple was invaded by General Kalapahad, a superintendent of the Nawab of Bengal Sultan Karani. However the priests of the temple smuggled the main deities out of the temple and hid them in Chilika Lake. After that it was gradually restored by King Ramchandra Deva I.
The Jagannath temple is a highly revered Vaishnavite temple and it is one of the 108 Divya deshams of Vaishnav people. It is also one of the Char Dhams or the 4 most sacred temples of Hindus.
The temple has been revered by many saints such as Adi Shankaracharya, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Ramanujacharya, etc. Shri Adi Shankaracharya even established a monastery in Puri known as Puri Matth.
This temple has also served as a center for the Bhakti movement of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and ISKCON of Srila Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada.
facts about jagannath temple
- Usually you have seen that a flag or a sail of ship flows in the direction of wind. But in Jagannath temple, the flag which is placed at the top, always flows in the opposite direction of wind.
- The Sudarshan Chakra which is placed at the pinnacle of the temple is made up of heavy metal and it weighs over 1000 kilograms! Nobody knows that how an object which is so heavy is placed over that height in the era when there was no electricity or technology.
- There is one more fact about the Sudarshan Chakra. It is experienced that when you see the Chakra from front, back, sideways or any angle; the Chakra will look as same!
- The flag of temple is daily changed. The main priest of the temple climbs the temple atop and replaces the old flag with new flag. It is believed that if the flag ritual is missed for even a single day, the temple will be shut for 18 years.
- There is a ritual in Jagannath temple which involves the Idol of Jagannath. Once in every 19 years, the Idols of Lord Jagannath, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra are changed. During this time, a blackout is announced in the city.
- The priest takes the mysterious object “Nil Madhava” from the Idol of Lord Jagannath, and places it in the new Idol of Lord Jagannath. While doing this, he ties a black cloth around his eyes and prevents himself from seeing it as part of the ritual.
- Kanapata Hanuman is located on the western gate of Jagannatha Temple (Vyaghra dvara). After marrying Laxmi devi who is the daughter of the ocean, the Lord became the son-in-law of the ocean. During the night the waves of the ocean make a loud sound that is heard all over Puri. One time this sound entered Jagannatha’s temple, thus disturbing the Lord’s sleep. Lord Jagannatha ordered Samudra not to make any sound which might disturb Him. Since then, the sound of Samudra crashing on the beach never again entered Jagannatha’s Temple. Lord Jagannatha engaged His devotee Hanuman to stand at the south gate and listen attentively and ensure the sound never entered the mandira. “Kanapata” means to engage the ears (kana) for hearing. Thus Hanuman is known here as Kanapata Hanuman.
- The city of Puri still hosts a king who is called as Gajapati Maharaj. He is said to be the first servant of Jagannath Prabhu. He is involved in many rituals related to the temple such as Rath Yatra, Janmashtami, Ram Navami etc.
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