Jagannatha Puri — Photo tour

Jagannatha Puri
Jagannatha Puri is one of the four major dhamas mentioned in the Puranas. It is also known as Purusottma-ksetra because it is here that the Lord resides in His form as Jagannatha. The temple of Lord Jagannatha is considered to be one of the most important temples in India. Many famous acaryas visited this temple for darsana of Lord Jagannatha such as Adi Sankara, Ramanujacarya and Visnusvami.

Puri is important to the Gaudiya Vaisnavas because it was here that Sri Caitanyadeva decided to reside after he took sannyasa.

The temple of Jagannatha has been in existence for thousands of years but the present temple was built by King Anangabhimadeva in the 12th Century.

Other important places in Puri are the birthplace of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, Siddha-bakula (the bhajan-kutira of Namacarya Haridasa Thakura), Jagannatha-vallabha Gardens, Tota Gopinatha and the Gambhira.

There is also a Gaudiya Matha established by Srila Sarasvati Thakura at Cataka-parvata where he resided and performed bhajana for some time. There are Deities here of Vyasadeva and Madhvacarya as well as the Deities of Sri Sri Gaura Gopi Gopinatha.

Puri is also the stage for one of the world’s most unique religious festivals, Rathayatra which is held during June/July. Lord Jagannatha, along with His brother Baladeva and His sister Subhadra-devi, are carried from the temple in great pomp and placed on huge wooden chariots (rathas) Thousands of pilgrims and spectators take part in this event and pull the chariots from the Jagannatha temple along the entire length of the Grand Road ending at the Gundica temple. The Deities remain there for nine days then return to the main temple on the tenth. This festival commemorates Sri Krsna’s return from Dvaraka to Vrndavana.

Lord Jagannatha — The making of the Deities

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