Location: 60-km from Bhubaneswar, Orissa
Reigning Deity: Lord Jagannatha
Main Attractions: Lord Jagannatha Temple, Puri
Beach & Gundicha Mandir
Significance: One of the four holiest points of
pilgrimage for Hindus
The holy city of Puri is located 60-km from Bhubaneswar
on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. It is one of the four
holy dhamas of India - Puri, Dwarka, Rameswaram and Badrinath
. It is considered that a pilgrimage of the temples of
India is not complete without making the journey to Puri.
Popularly Known As
Puri is called "Sri Purusottama Dham" or "Martya
Vaikuntha", the abode of Lord Vishnu on earth. Other
names are "Sriksetra" (best of all sacred
centers), "Purusottama Ksetra" (the abode of the
supreme being), "Nilachal", "Nalagiri",
"Sankha Ksetra", and "Jagannatha Dhama".
Puri is about 2-km wide and 4-km long.
Temple or Jagannath Temple here is one of the major
temples in India. The worship of Lord Jagannatha is so
ancient that there is no idea how long. He has been
worshiped. The Lord has had many temples before the
Sri Ramanuja visited Puri between 1107 and 1117 century AD
and stayed for some time. Vishnu Swami visited Puri in the
second half of the 12th century and established a 'Matha'
near 'Markandeswar' Tank, called "Vishnuswami Matha".
Nimbarka Acharya also made a pilgrimage to Puri, and Srila
Prabhupada visited in January 1977.
A major reason that Puri is so important to the "Gaudiya
Vaishnavas" is because Lord Chaitanya spent so much
time here. Many of His pastimes with His most intimate
associated\s took place at different sites in this area.
Non-Hindus cannot enter the Jagannatha temple. This is
Besides being an important holy town Puri also has one of
the best beaches for swimming in India. It is one of the
most visited places in India by young foreign tourist. It
is a very pleasant place.
of Lord Jagannatha or Jagannath temple ('Lord of the
Universe') at Puri is one of the most sacred pilgrimage
spots in India, one of the four abodes ('Dhamas') of the
divine that lie on the four directions of the compass. The
present temple structure was built in the 12th century by
the 'Ganga' King 'Choda Ganga Deva', replacing an earlier
structure, which probably dated to the 10th century.
Until recently, almost the entire temple was covered in
white plaster, so much so that European sailors in
previous centuries used it as a navigation point,
referring to it as the "White Pagoda" in
contrast to the "Black Pagoda" of Konark
, further up the coast.
Gundicha Mandir (Temple)
This temple is located at the end of Grad road (the main
road) about 3-km northeast of the Jagannatha
temple . At the time of the 'Ratha-Yatra'
festival , Lord Jagannatha goes to the Gundicha temple
and stays there for one week. After one week He returns to
His original temple. It is said that the wife of 'Indradyumna',
the king who originally established the temple of
Jagannatha, was known as "Gundicha". The
cleansing of the Gundicha temple takes place the day
before the Ratha-Yatra festival as mentioned in "Chaitanya-Caritamrita".
Non-Hindus can walk within the walls and see the beautiful
garden, but they are not allowed in the temple building.