Puri Jagannath Temple
The Jagannath Mandir in Puri is one of the four holy pilgrimage centers in the Char Dham abodes, which are extremely sacred for the Hindus. This magnificent temple is an abode to the Lord of the world, Jagannath, who is Lord Vishu himself.
As per ancient history, King Indradyumna first constructed the temple for the Lord, after which it was covered in sand for thousands of years. Later on, the present-day temple construction work was started by King Chodaganga Deva of the Ganga dynasty and was completed in 1174 by King Anagabhimadeva.
The deities in all the temples are normally created from stone or metal. However, Lord Jagannath in Puri Mandir is carved out of wood, in a form known as Daru, or tree. As per scriptures, the all-powerful Jagannath in Puri manifested himself in four daru forms, those of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra, and Chakra Sudarshana. The scriptures say that Jagannath can see without eyes, hear without ears, grab and walk without hands and feet.
Address: Grand Rd, At post, Puri, Odisha 752001, India
Opening Hours: 7 am to 9 pm seven days a week
Established in: 1161 CE by Indradyumna
Festivals Celebrated: Rath Yatra, Chandan Yatra, Janmasthami
Jagannath Temple is located in Puri in the eastern state of Orissa. Puri is about 2 hours from the state capital Bhubaneswar where the nearest airport is situated. You can get to Puri from Bhubaneswar by bus. You can book in advance from the redBus app or website and conveniently travel by taking any of the numerous buses available. However, everyone keen to visit Puri Mandir has to know that only Hindus are allowed entry to this temple.
Few astonishing facts about the temple
- The flag atop the dome flows in a direction opposite to the wind.
- The 45-meter tall temple casts no shadow ever at any time.
- The big Sudarshan chakra at the top looks the same from any angle.
- No birds fly over the temple dome, and no planes are allowed to fly over it.
Main festivals in Puri
- Puri Jagannath Ratha Yatra: This is the most important event of the year when Lord Jagannath leaves the temple abode. This is unlike all other temples where only smaller replicas of the deities, the Utsava Murtis, are taken out of the temple. The deity rides in a spectacularly crafted and decorated rath to give darshan to the pilgrims and residents as it is pulled around the city. Interestingly, the English word juggernaut is derived from this event, inspired by the massive effort in pulling this mammoth rath. Millions of pilgrims throng Puri to participate in this mega festival to seek the Lord’s blessings. This takes place in June/July.
- Nabakalebara: This is the elaborate ritual carried out once in 12 or 19 years. Here the deities are replaced with exact replicas from expertly handcrafted wooden tree barks. The trees are carefully selected by Vedic pandits as per the sacred scriptures, based on their color, location, and many other signs. This ritual is based on Agama Shastra, which specifies that deities in wooden forms need to take on new bodies after a certain period. The last such ritual was held in the year 2015.
Other temple events
Festivals are celebrated for the Lord throughout the year. Some of them are:
- Snana Yatra on Purnima in June
- Sayana Yatra during Ashada masa or month when the Lord is put to sleep after an elaborate ritual.
- Dola Yatra
- Chandan Yatra marks the commencement of the construction of the magnificent Rathas, or chariots.
Other Places of Interest near Puri
- Chilka Lake, a saltwater lagoon famous for bird watching, water sports, and fishing
- Pipili, famous for its handicrafts
- Chandrabhaga, a gorgeous beach for relaxation.
- Konark where you can visit the extraordinary sun temple
- Satapara, a popular coastal town for dolphin sightings
- Raghurajpura for lovely heritage crafts
Getting to Puri
The nearest airport in Bhubaneswar is about 60 km from Puri. Puri is connected by trains from many major cities of the country. However, the most convenient mode of transport to the Puri Jagannath Mandir from nearby cities is by bus.
Getting to Puri by Bus
Some of the popular routes to Puri temple are listed out here:
- Calcutta to Puri
- Bhuvaneshwar to Puri
- Durgapur to Puri
- Bhanjanagar to Puri
- Asansol to Puri
- Cuttack to Puri
There are multiple bus operators running bus service to Puri from various destinations. You can make online bookings to visit the Puri Jagannath Mandir using the redBus app or website, which brings together hundreds of bus operators across the country on one platform.
Major bus operators
- OSRTC, the state government operator
- Greenline Services
- Mohapatra Travels
- Khusboo Travels
Bus dropping and boarding points in Puri
- Puri bus stand
- Mashir bari
- Bata Mangala
Have a great darshan of Lord Jagannath in Puri Mandir by partnering with redBus. Make plans for the trip with advance online booking for the Puri temple visit using the reliable redBus app or website.