An important pilgrimage in India, Jagannath Temple is the finest monument in Odisha. The main deities presiding over the temple are Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra. Although a popular pilgrimage, Jagannath Temple comes to life during the annual Rath Yatra when a very large number of people throng the temple. The sacred shrine is believed to be the authentic reflection of Indian culture.
Ten incredible facts about Puri Jagannath temple
- Jagannath Puri being one of the four dhams sees millions of devotees visiting the Jagannath temple throughout the year seeking the blessings of Lord Jagannath. The historic Jagannath temple (Shrimandira) at Puri was built in the year 1078.
- The flag atop the temple has been observed to flap in the opposite direction of the breeze.
- Irrespective of where you stand in Puri, it seems to you that the Sudarshana Chakra on top of the temple is always facing you.
- Usually in coastal areas during the day-time, the breeze blows from the sea towards the land and during evening hours it blows from the land towards the sea. But in the case of Puri it is the reverse.
- No birds fly above the Jagannath temple in Puri.
- 6. The shadow of the main dome of Jagannath temple is not visible, whatever be the time of day. Maybe an architectural feat or the Lord’s desire.
- The food cooked inside the temple everyday never goes waste.
- After entering the temple from Singha dwara’s entrance, after the first step you cannot hear any sound produced by the ocean. But, when you exit it can be clearly heard. This can be noticed clearly during evening. There is no scientific explanation for this. Legend has it that Subhadra Mayi, the sister of the two Lords wished peace and serenity within the temple abode and hence it was made to come about that way.
- TheRatha Yatraat Puri was initially performed with two sets of chariots (3 plus 3). As there was a river flowing in between Shrimandira and Gundicha (Mausi maa) temple, the first set of chariots were used to transport the Deities till the river, and then the Deities had to cross the river in three wooden boats and then board the other set of chariots to travel till the Gundicha (Mausi maa) temple.
- Every year there is a place just ahead of the Gundicha temple where the procession comes to a stop by itself. This is a mystery. The temple doors are closed to the public after 6 P.M. and in spite of elaborate planning, the proceedings are delayed in every Yatra. Thereby this delay gives an opportunity for the thousands of devotees to have darshan of the Deities at a time which otherwise would not have been possible in the precincts of the temple. Probably it is the Lord’s way of conveying that all mortals are alike in His eyes.