Jagannath Temple is one of the most prominent as well as the prevalent temples of Orissa, India. Established in the 12th century, the temple is committed to Lord Jagannath (Lord Krishna), Lord of the Universe. The credit for laying the foundation of the Jagannath temple Puri goes to Raja Ananta Varman Chodaganga Dev. The temple is located at a distance of 60 km from Bhubaneswar, on the coast of Bay of Bengal, and is greatly respected by the devotees of Vaishnava traditions.
There is an interesting legend associated with the Jagannatha temple of Puri. It belived that King Indradyumna, the ruler of the territory, saw Lord Jagannath in his dreams and subsequent the Lord’s wishes, as the Lord told him in his dreams, he constructed the Jagannath Puri Temple . Situated in the heart of the holy city, the temple is visited by devotees from all corners of India as well as from the world. It exudes magnificence and its tall spires lend it a superb feeling. The walls are blown up with beautiful carvings.
The holy sight of Lord Jagannath, accompanied by Subhadra and Balabhadra raises loads of joy among the devotees. The two gods and the goddess of the temple are decorated in accordance with the occasion and seasonal change. The structural design of the temple can be found to be in pyramid shape.
It becomes excited to know that the Jagannath Temple of Puri has a latent legend associated with it. It is supposed that in the Krita Yuga, the actual image of the lord had the power of giving way ‘moksha’ to anyone who witness it. Yamaraja didn’t find this justice. So, he decided to keep the image in some distant and to hide somewhere on the earth. However, as Dvapar Yuga inwards, the deity that is worshipped today in Jagannath Puri was constructed by Lord Vishnu with the help of wooden logs. And it doesn’t make difference in the Lord’s power in spitefulness of having the hands lacking.
Jagannath Temple in Odisha (Orissa) consists of four entrance gates. They are named as Singhadwara, Ashwadwara, Hathidwara and Vyaghradwara and these names pertains to lion, horse, elephant and tiger. Each day, the Lord Jagannath is offered ‘bhoga’ six times and it is dispensed among the worshippers close to Ratnavedi.
The Ratha Yatra
The one and only famous festival related to the Jagannath temple is the ratha yatra, or chariot festival, which occurs in June or July every year. During this festival, the three deities are taken out from the temple and placed in large chariots which are then drawn along Grand Road to the Gundecha temple, a few kilometers away. After they stay in there for seven days, the deities again ride the chariots back to their home temple.
This Ratha Yatra is very famous in India as well as all over the world .