Panorama of Puri Jagannath Temple Through the Lenses of Devotion

This state is one of the hidden gems of India, situated on the east coast, bounded by the Bay of Bengal. The name of this beautiful state is Odisha. Odisha is known for its vibrant art and architecture, the epitome of culture and heritage, for gallantry of its own people, being a homeland to many religions, blessed by Mother Nature with the sea, mountains, lakes, forests, minerals, fountains, etc. Odisha is also famous for its cultural dance form Odishi. It is a state of righteousness where exists no impurity. Menstruation of women, which happens to be taboo in various other states in India, is celebrated specifically during the Raja festival as a mark of womanhood.

What is Puri all about?

Puri is one of the 30 districts of Odisha. It is situated on the east coast of Odisha. The study claims that out of World’s 36 deadliest Tropical Cyclones, 26 cyclones came in the Bay of Bengal. So, sometimes Puri has to face extreme weather conditions. However, the place blooms overall odds. Puri is otherwise known as “Sreekhetra” for “Lord Sree Jagannath”. Puri, even Odisha can be well identified by their unique pious culture called “Jagannath Sanskruti”.

            Nilachalanibasaya Nityaya Paramatmane,

            Balabhadrasubhdrayam Jagnnathaya te Namah.”

Offering Obeisance to the Paramatma, Lord Sree Jagannatha who resides in Nilachala with brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra.

Puri, the sacred land, is known for “Lord Sree Jagannath” and his temple “Sree Mandira”. The local people carry immense love and gratefulness in their hearts for their Lord. Every day almost up to 2,00,000 pilgrims visits the temple to see a glimpse of The Lord Jagannath, Maa Subhadra, and Lord Balabhadra, three deities.  Sree Mandira has been standing tall since the 11th century. We see ancient sculptures and inscriptions engraved in stone all over the 65 meters humongous temple. This temple stands as a vivid monument to the past glory and prosperity of Odisha. In order to believe in the beauty and greatness of the place, one must pay a visit. The famous “Rath Yatra” or “Chariot Festival” is held once in a year when the three deities come out of the temple for their devotees.

image: Google search[copyright belongs to the owner]

 Mysteries that contravene Scientific Logic:

It is not only about beauty but also about certain astonishing facts to which even science has no answers. 

Starting with the sea, as we all know, the direction of wind flows from the sea towards the land during the daytime and vice versa during the evening but it is not the case in Puri. Here the direction of the wind is reversed as wind flows from the land towards the sea in the daytime and vice versa in the evening. 

 The mystery with Nilachakra on top of the temple is that it is always front-facing from whichever direction you see. The Nilachakra is always facing towards the viewer looking like a Chakra, no one has ever seen its side facing view no matter from where they are watching. The Nilachakra is made up of heavy metals weighing tones of Kilos, placed on top of the temple which is almost up to a 45-storey building in an era of no machinery.

Talking about entering the temple, it is observed that the sea roaring sound can be heard around the temple but the moment we step inside the “Singhadwara” which is one of the entrances, the sea roaring sound becomes silent. Some scholars refer to this to be an architectural wonder. The mythological concept is Maa Subhadra wanted to reside inside the temple in peace.

A general rule of science is shadow forms opposite to the source of light. The Sun shines bright here but does not form the shadow of the main temple. Marvelous engineering or divine theory?

The food court of Puri Jagannath temple, Ananda Bazaar, is one of the biggest open-air eateries in the world. The process of cooking food (Mahaprasada) is distinctive. The delicacies are prepared in a hearth, placing 7 earthen pots one above the other, and the pot placed at the top gets cooked first. Moreover, there are many amazing facts about the Puri Jagannath temple kitchen (Rasoi ghara) like the food quantity never falls short and always made in the same quantity but the number of visitors changes. The mythological belief of this occurrence is that it is said that Goddess Mahalakshmi, the wife of Lord Jagannath, prepares the food. The servitors are just helpers to her. It is also observed that during the “Rath Yatra” or Chariot Festival when Lord Jagannath leaves the temple for nine days, the Mahaprasada prepared during that period is tasteless. It is because the goddess possesses no enthusiasm to cook.

It is general knowledge that a piece of paper or a piece of cloth if left unattended flies in the direction of wind flow. But the holy Flag, Patitapabana bana, flows exactly opposite to the direction of the wind flow. The holy flag has been changed every morning by a priest since the day the temple was built. It leaves professional climbers awestruck that the priest climbs to the top of the temple without any protective gears. They say If this ritual of changing the holy flag is broken even a day, then the temple will be closed for years.

We see birds love tall architecture, fly around them or sit there. The place of Puri Jagannath temple has never been declared as a no-fly zone as well. No planes and no birds ever fly over this mountainous monument. The reason is unknown.

World’s Largest Chariot Festival

            “Anathasya Jagannatha Nathastwam me na Samsaya,

            Yasya Natho Jagannathastasya Dukham Katham Prabho.”

“There arise no doubt, he, who is orphan, has Jagannath as the master,

When Lord Jagannath is your master, where is the sorrow?”

This is the amount of love people hold in their hearts for their Lord Jagannath.

Image credit: Google search[copyright belongs to the owner]

I am fortunate enough to be receiving this opportunity to write an article during the season of “Rath Yatra” or the Chariot Festival, which is celebrated during the month of June or July every year. I can not sustain myself without mentioning this uncommon festival.

It is a festival of devotion that is celebrated by millions of people for nine long days. Before the day of Ratha Yatra the three deities, Lord Jagannath, his sister Maa Subhadra and his Brother Balabhadra suffer from fever for fourteen days and stay isolated known as “Anasaraghar”. Then on the day of “Ratha Yatra,” they come out of the temple to meet their devotees. Three Wooden Chariots are created for them. Name of the three Chariots for Lords Jagannath, Maa Subhadra, and Balabhadra are Nandighosa, Darpadalana, and Taladhwaja respectively. Millions of people pull the Chariots one after the other till 3 K.Ms up to Gundicha temple with full splendor. It’s extremely pleasing to see millions of people assembled to celebrate one occasion, dancing in their own rhythm, chanting hymns, distributing food packages, presenting their prayers loudly, and participating in the celebration irrespective of their Caste, Creed, Gender, and Nationality.