Jagannath Temple of Puri: The Jagannath Temple of Puri is one of the most sacred and ancient Hindu temples in India. It is dedicated to Jagannath, a form of Vishnu, the supreme god of the Vaishnava tradition. The temple is located in the city of Puri, on the eastern coast of Odisha, and attracts millions of pilgrims every year.
The temple was built by King Indradyumna of Avanti, who had a divine vision of Jagannath in his dreams. He commissioned a carpenter named Viswakarma to carve the wooden idols of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra, the three main deities of the temple. However, Viswakarma demanded that no one should disturb him while he was working, otherwise, the idols would remain incomplete.
Indradyumna became impatient and opened the door of the workshop, only to find the idols without hands and feet. He was disappointed, but a voice from the sky told him that the idols were perfect and he should install them in the temple
Jagannath Temple of Puri: The temple is famous for its annual Ratha Yatra, or chariot festival, in which the three idols are taken out of the temple and placed on huge and decorated chariots. The chariots are then pulled by thousands of devotees along the Grand Road to the Gundicha Temple, where they stay for nine days.
The return journey is called Bahuda Yatra and marks the end of the festival. The Ratha Yatra is a symbol of Jagannath’s love and compassion for his devotees, who get a chance to see him outside the temple.
The temple is also known for its unique rituals and traditions, such as the Nabakalebara, in which the wooden idols are replaced by new ones every twelve or nineteen years. The old idols are buried in a secret chamber called Koili Vaikuntha, which is believed to be the resting place of Jagannath. Another ritual is the Chhera Pahara, in which the king of Puri sweeps the chariots and the road with a golden broom as a sign of humility and devotion.
The Jagannath Temple is a marvel of architecture and culture and a testimony to the faith and devotion of millions of Hindus. It is one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites, along with Rameswaram, Dwarka and Badrinath. It is said that anyone who visits this temple attains salvation and liberation from the cycle of birth and death.