About Jagannath Temple

About Jagannath Temple

"Jagannath Temple: An Odyssey into Spiritual Bliss"


The Jagannath Temple is a famous Hindu temple located in Puri, a coastal town in the state of Odisha, India. It is one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites for Hindus and is dedicated to Lord Jagannath (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu), along with his siblings Balabhadra and Subhadra.

Key Features of the Temple:

  • Sanctum Sanctorum: The main temple structure, known as the Deula, houses the deities of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra. The idols are made of wood and are replaced every 12 or 19 years in a grand ritual called Navakalevara.



  • Rath Yatra: The Jagannath Temple is renowned for its annual Rath Yatra, also known as the Chariot Festival. During this event, the deities are taken out of the temple and placed on massive chariots. The procession attracts millions of devotees who come to witness and participate in pulling the chariots.



  • Temple Architecture: The temple complex exhibits the typical Kalinga-style architecture with its towering spire, known as the Shikhara. The temple's main spire rises to a height of about 65 meters (214 feet) and is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures.



  • Temple Kitchen: The Jagannath Temple operates one of the largest kitchens in the world, known as the Anand Bazaar or Mahaprasad. It serves free meals (prasad) to thousands of devotees daily, and the food is considered highly sacred.



  • Puri Jagannath Culture: The Jagannath Temple and its rituals have deeply influenced the culture and traditions of Puri. The temple is considered the heart of the city, and the Jagannath cult plays a significant role in the lives of the local people.


The Jagannath Temple holds immense religious significance for Hindus, and it attracts pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. The temple complex, with its grand architecture, rich history, and vibrant festivals, continues to be a prominent symbol of devotion and spirituality.



Who are the gods in Puri Jagannath?



The main deities worshipped at the Jagannath Temple in Puri are Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra. They are considered sibling deities and are revered by devotees.



  • Lord Jagannath: Lord Jagannath is the primary deity of the temple. He is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, specifically Lord Krishna. The word "Jagannath" translates to "Lord of the Universe." Lord Jagannath is depicted as a dark-colored deity with large round eyes and a smiling face.



  • Lord Balabhadra: Lord Balabhadra is the elder brother of Lord Jagannath. He is also an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and is portrayed as a white deity with a muscular physique. Lord Balabhadra holds a plow (his weapon) and is worshipped alongside Lord Jagannath.



  • Devi Subhadra: Devi Subhadra is the sister of Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra. She is depicted as a yellow-skinned deity with a graceful appearance. Devi Subhadra holds a lotus flower in her hand and is an integral part of the trinity worshipped at the Jagannath Temple.


Together, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra form the holy trinity of deities worshipped at the Jagannath Temple. They are considered manifestations of the divine and are the objects of immense devotion and reverence by the devotees who visit the temple.



What is special about Jagannath Temple?



The Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha, is a unique and significant pilgrimage site with several distinctive features that make it special. Here are some aspects that make the Jagannath Temple unique:


  • Deities and Worship: The temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, along with his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra. The Creators are made of wood and are replaced in a ritual called Navakalevara, which takes place every 12 or 19 years. This ritual involves transferring the divine essence to new idols.



  • Rath Yatra: The annual Rath Yatra, or Chariot Festival, of the Jagannath Temple, is one of the most famous religious processions in the world. During this festival, the deities are taken out of the temple and placed on massive chariots, which are pulled by devotees through the streets of Puri. The Rath Yatra attracts millions of devotees and symbolizes unity and devotion.



  • Mahaprasad: The Jagannath Temple is known for its sacred food offerings called Mahaprasad. The temple operates one of the largest kitchens in the world, where pure vegetarian meals are prepared as an offering to the deities. The Mahaprasad is distributed to devotees, and it is believed to have spiritual significance and blessings.



  • Architectural Marvel: The temple complex showcases impressive Kalinga-style architecture. The main temple spire, known as the Shikhara, rises to a height of about 65 meters (214 feet) and is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures. The temple architecture represents the rich cultural heritage and craftsmanship of Odisha.



  • Cultural Significance: The Jagannath Temple and its rituals have profoundly influenced the cultural fabric of Puri and Odisha. The Jagannath cult has given rise to unique music, dance, and art forms, such as Odissi classical dance and the Puri Ratha Yatra song traditions. The temple serves as a cultural and spiritual center for the local community and devotees from around the world.



  • Inclusive Worship: One remarkable aspect of the Jagannath Temple is its tradition of inclusive worship. Regardless of caste, creed, or religion, devotees are welcome to visit the temple and have a darshan (sacred sight) of the deities. This inclusivity and openness make the temple a symbol of unity and tolerance.


The Jagannath Temple's historical significance, grandeur, unique rituals, and cultural impact contribute to its special status among Hindu temples. It continues to attract devotees, scholars, and tourists who seek spiritual solace, cultural enrichment, and a glimpse into the rich traditions of India.



How much time does it take for darshan in Jagannath Temple?



The time it takes for darshan (sacred sight) at the Jagannath Temple in Puri can vary depending on several factors, including the crowd size, the time of visit, and the specific day or festival. Here are some general considerations regarding the time taken for darshan:

  • Regular Days: On regular days with moderate crowd levels, the darshan at Jagannath Temple can typically take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. However, this can vary based on individual preferences, waiting time, and the flow of devotees.



  • Peak Pilgrimage Season: During peak pilgrimage seasons or important festivals like Rath Yatra, the waiting time for darshan can be significantly longer. It is not uncommon for devotees to wait for several hours to have a darshan of the deities due to the higher influx of visitors.



  • VIP and Paid Darshan: The temple provides separate queues for VIPs, donors, and those opting for paid darshan. These queues often have shorter waiting times, allowing for quicker darshan. However, access to these queues may have specific eligibility criteria and additional charges.



  • Early Morning and Evening Darshan: Generally, the early morning and evening darshan hours witness lesser crowds compared to the peak visiting times during the day. If you prefer a shorter waiting time, you may consider visiting the temple during these hours.


It is important to note that the timings and procedures for darshan can be subject to change, so it's advisable to check the official website or consult with local authorities for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding darshan timings and any special arrangements.

Additionally, it's recommended to plan your visit in advance, arrive early, and be prepared for possible waiting periods, especially during popular festivals or auspicious days when the temple receives a higher number of devotees.



What is Jagannath God's real name?



In Hindu mythology and religious texts, the deity known as Jagannath is primarily referred to as Lord Jagannath. The term "Jagannath" itself is a Sanskrit word that translates to "Lord of the Universe" or "Master of the World."

Lord Jagannath is considered an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, specifically Lord Krishna. In different Hindu scriptures and Puranic texts, Lord Jagannath is mentioned by various names and titles that describe his divine attributes and characteristics. Some of the common names and epithets associated with Lord Jagannath include:


  1. Jagannath: "Lord of the Universe."
  2. Purushottam: "Supreme Being" or "Supreme Consciousness."
  3. Krishna: As an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Lord Jagannath is often identified with Lord Krishna, one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu.
  4. Shyam: "Dark-Complexioned" or "Black."
  5. Neelamadhaba: "Lord with a Blue Complexion."
  6. Madan Mohan: "Charming Enchanter" or "Delight of the Mind."
  7. Gopal: "Cowherd" or "Protector of Cows," associating Lord Jagannath with Lord Krishna's pastoral form.
  8. Mukunda: "Bestower of Liberation" or "Giver of Salvation."
  9. Damodara: Referring to Lord Krishna's pastime where he was tied with a rope (damar) around his waist (udara) by his mother Yashoda.


These names and titles reflect different aspects of Lord Jagannath's divine nature and depict the various facets of his divine personality. Devotees address and worship him by these names with reverence and devotion.



Which day is special for Lord Jagannath?



In the Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha, different days hold significance for Lord Jagannath and are associated with specific rituals and observances. Here are a few notable days that are considered special for Lord Jagannath:

Snana Purnima: Snana Purnima is a significant day when the deities of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra are ceremonially bathed. It falls on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Jyeshtha (May or June). The deities are brought out of the sanctum sanctorum and taken to the Snana Mandap (bathing platform) where they are bathed with 108 pitchers of sacred water.


  • Rath Yatra: The Rath Yatra, also known as the Chariot Festival, is one of the most famous and celebrated festivals associated with Lord Jagannath. It takes place on the second day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of Ashadha (June or July). On this day, the deities are placed on massive chariots and pulled through the streets of Puri by devotees.



  • Anasara: Anasara is a period of retreat for Lord Jagannath, which follows the Rath Yatra. After the grand procession, the deities retire to a secluded chamber in the temple called the Anasara Ghara. During this time, they are believed to be in a state of illness and are not visible to devotees. This period lasts for around 15 days.



  • Niladri Bije: Niladri Bije marks the culmination of the Rath Yatra festival. It takes place on the fourth day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of Ashadha (June or July). On this day, the deities return to the Jagannath Temple after their chariot procession and are ceremonially welcomed back to the sanctum sanctorum.


Apart from these specific days, every day at the Jagannath Temple holds significance as devotees can have darshan (sacred sight) of the deities and offer their prayers. However, the above-mentioned days are particularly special and attract a large number of devotees who come to witness and participate in the unique rituals and festivities associated with Lord Jagannath.



What is the history of Jagannath Temple?




The history of the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha, dates back several centuries and is intertwined with mythology, legends, and historical accounts. While the exact origins of the temple are debated, its significance and prominence have been documented since ancient times. Here is an overview of the history of the Jagannath Temple:



  • Mythological Origins: According to Hindu mythology, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra are considered divine siblings and are said to have manifested themselves as wooden deities during the Dvapara Yuga (an epoch in Hindu cosmology). Legends suggest that the original idols were sculpted by Lord Vishwakarma, the divine architect.



  • King Indradyumna: One popular legend surrounding the temple's history revolves around King Indradyumna, a legendary ruler of Malwa. It is said that King Indradyumna embarked on a quest to find and install the idols of Lord Jagannath after receiving a divine message. He discovered the idols on the Nilachal Hill (also known as Nilgiri) in Puri and constructed the Jagannath Temple to house them.



  • Architectural Development: The construction of the Jagannath Temple and its architectural development took place over centuries. The temple exhibits Kalinga-style architecture, which is known for its unique features such as the towering spire (Shikhara), intricate carvings, and sculptural work. The temple complex underwent several renovations, expansions, and additions under different rulers and patrons.



  • Historical Accounts: The Jagannath Temple gained prominence during the rule of various dynasties, including the Ganga dynasty, the Eastern Ganga dynasty, and later the Gajapati kings of Odisha. Historical records and inscriptions provide evidence of the temple's significance as a major pilgrimage center and its patronage by rulers and devotees.



  • Islamic Invasions: During the medieval period, the Jagannath Temple faced multiple invasions and attacks by Islamic rulers. The temple was plundered and destroyed several times, but devotees and rulers diligently rebuilt it each time, preserving its sanctity and cultural heritage.



  • British Influence: With the arrival of the British in India, the Jagannath Temple came under their administration during the colonial period. The British East India Company introduced certain administrative changes, but the temple's rituals and religious practices continued to be carried out by the temple administration and the servitors.


Today, the Jagannath Temple stands as one of the most revered and significant Hindu temples in India. Its rich history, architectural grandeur, and spiritual importance continue to attract millions of devotees and visitors from around the world. The temple's legacy is deeply intertwined with the cultural fabric of Puri and Odisha, making it a center of religious and cultural significance.