Top 10 Astonishing Facts about Jagannath Temple
The temple of Jagannath Temple is a sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath a form of Krishna and is located in puri in the state of Odisha on the eastern coast of India.
The current temple was rebuilt from the 10th century onward, on the site of the earlier temple, and was begun by Anantavarman Chodaganga, the first king of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty.
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The temple is famously associated with the annual chariot festival, in which the three principal deities are pulled on large and elaborately decorated temple cars.
The image of Jagannath is unique in that it’s made of wood unlike that of other Hindu temples and is ceremoniously replaced every 12 or 19 years by a replica. The site is one of the Char Dham Pilgrimage. Here are the top 10 Astonishing Facts about Jagannath Temple.
1. The deities worshiped at the temple are the holy trinity of Lord Jagannath
The main deities presiding deities in the sacred sanctum sanctorum of the temple are; Lord Balabhadra, his eldest brother; and Goddess Subhadra, their younger sister. The deities are carved out of neem logs and are placed on a bejeweled platform.
Lord Jagannath, an avatar of Lord Krishna is considered a symbol of universal love and brotherhood. The idols are different in color with each color holding a different meaning.
Lord Jagannath is represented by the color black, Balabhadra (white), and Subhadra (yellow). Respectively the colors signify meaning to the three races of humankind Negroids, Europeans, and Mangoloiads.
The deities are decorated with jewelry and clothes referred to as Vastra Shringar.
The deities follow a dress code carried at the temple and the colors differ as per day – Monday (black & white), Tuesday (5 various colors), Wednesday (blue), Thursday (yellow), Friday (white), and Saturday (black) and Sunday (red).
2. The temple hosts at its top the Neela Chakra
The Jagannath temple has a metal wheel at the top known as Neela chakra or the blue wheel.
The circumference of the inner wheel is about 26 feet, and the thickness is two inches. Eight hubs join together in the inner and outer wheels. The outer wheels are decoratively designed.
The flag attached to the blue wheel is 38 feet long and its pole extends 2 feet high. The figures carved on the outer circumference of the wheel are believed to be the figures of the 8 Navagunjaras, a mythical creature formed out of the parts of 9 different animals and birds. All the Navagunjaras are facing the Neela chakra flag.
3. There is an annual Chariot festival celebrated at the temple
The festival is also known as Jagannath Yatra and is associated with Lord Shri Krishna’s divinity and holds a great significance in India’s history.
Its believed that every year Lord Jagannath wishes to visit his birthplace along with the other three deities for a few days. This festival covers the journey of the deities.
The wooden idols of the deities are placed in massive chariots taken from Jagannath temple to Gundicha temple.
The sanctuary of Lord Jagannath is Gundicha temple which is suited on badadanda highway.
The idols in the ornamented chariots are accompanied by conchs, which can be heard all around the area.
Before the festival they are given for Snana Pornima and are placed in isolation until the allocated day of procession, this event is known as Ansara.
The king sweeps the chariot with a gold-handled broom. The chariot is later decorated with flowers by the king and sandalwood is sprinkled on the chariot.
The deities remain at Gundicha temple for 9 days before the procession day.
4. The temple has an ancient tradition of 1800 old observed to date
As per the requirement of an old ritual of 1800 years, a priest climbs atop the temple every day to change the flag.
The ritual has been practiced for centuries and it’s believed that in the event where the procedure is missed, the temple will remain closed for 18 years.
The temple is as tall as a 45-story building, there are no practice gears used, and its performed with bare hands.
5. A strange phenomenon has been occurring at the Singhadwara
The temple has 4 doors and Singhadwara is the main entrance of the temple. It’s observed that when you enter through this gate you can hear the sound of the waves, but once you pass through the main entrance and take a turn the sound of the waves disappears completely.
As long as you are inside the temple you won’t pick any sound from the wave.
Singhadwara in Sanskrit means the lion gate, the name given to the large statues of crouching lions existing on either side of the entrance.
6. The temple has a mysterious structure
The ancient temple was constructed in such a way that it doesn’t cast any shadow at any given time of the day. It remains a mystery, whether it’s the work of a magnificent architectural design or a sign from the supernatural.
7. There are minor temples within the Jagannath Temple
Numerous smaller temples and shrines are existing within the temple complex where the gods are actively worshiped.
The Vimala temple is considered one of the most important ones within the temple complex, it’s believed to mark the spot where the Goddess Satis’s gavel fell, it’s located near Rohini Kund in the temple complex.
8. The flag of the temple is known to float in a different direction than the wind
It’s the universal fact that any given object flies in the direction of the wind, however, the flag at the temple bizarrely always floats in the opposite direction of the wind.
9. The Jagannath temple is believed to have the world’s largest kitchen
The temple with 300 companions and five hundred cooks prepares Prasadam. It said the prasadam in the temple is aimed at a few thousand people, yet it satisfies the stomachs of many people and not a single quantity goes to waste.
10. There is a funeral held for the deities at the temple
The Jagannath temple is the only temple in India that conducts a funeral ceremony for its deities.
After the transfer of the ‘Brahma padartha’, it’s reflected that the souls of the deities get transferred to the new idols. The deities are buried from 14 to 18 years, one above another.