God, Knowledge, Temples

10 Interesting Facts About The Lord Jagannath Temple Of Puri

Nestled among the revered Chardhams, the Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri stands as a tranquil sanctuary, a hallowed abode for Hindus. Housing the divine trinity of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadra, this ancient temple exudes an unparalleled aura of mystique and serenity. Beyond its spiritual significance, the temple’s historical tapestry is equally captivating. This article aims not only to unravel the temple’s enigmatic elements but also to delve into its rich past. Join us on a journey as we explore some of the most Interesting facts about the Lord Jagannath Temple of Puri!

Interesting Facts About The Lord Jagannath Temple

#1. Direction of Flag

The flag positioned atop the Jagannath Temple displays a peculiar behavior by fluttering against the wind’s natural direction, a phenomenon that continues to baffle scientists. This inexplicable event adds an air of mystery to the temple’s ambiance. The triangular flag, spanning 20 feet in width, undergoes a daily manual change orchestrated by trained priests who ascend the temple’s structure for this ritual. Legend has it that neglecting this daily flag-changing ceremony could result in the temple’s closure for an extended period of 18 years.

#2. Wooden idols

Crafted from wood, the idols within the Lord Jagannath Temple undergo a renewal process known as Nabakalebara once every 8, 12, or 19 years. This ritual involves the selection of sacred neem trees meeting precise specifications, and the carving process is shrouded in secrecy, entrusted to chosen carpenters who complete the task within a 21-day period. Following the replacement, the old idols find their resting place near the Koili Vaikuntha, buried with reverence. The most recent Nabakalebara occurred in 2015, drawing the witness of millions of devout followers.

#3. Rath Yatra

The yearly Rath Yatra marks the chariot festival, during which the three deities ascend elaborately adorned chariots, embarking on a journey through the streets of Puri to pay homage to their maternal aunt at the Gundicha Temple. They remain there for seven days before returning to their home temple. This event draws hundreds of thousands of devotees from across the globe, eager to witness the divine moment when the gods venture beyond the temple walls to bless their followers with their divine presence.

#4. Built in the 12th Century CE

The construction of this temple dates back to the 12th century CE and is attributed to King Anantavarman Chodaganga of the Ganga dynasty. Over time, it underwent extensive renovations and enhancements carried out by successive rulers of both the Ganga dynasty and the Gajapatis.

#5. Plundered 18 times

The temple shelters ancient wealth in the form of gems and gold, rendering it susceptible to as many as 18 invasions in the past. Notably, during Aurangzeb’s reign, the temple remained closed, reopening only after his demise.

#6. No Shadow!

Regardless of the time of day or the position of the sun in the sky, the temple does not cast a shadow. This is not a metaphorical statement; it is a tangible phenomenon. Whether this is an architectural marvel or a genuine miracle is a subjective judgment left to your interpretation.

#7. Abadha Mahaprasad

The Mahaprasad undergoes a ceremonial presentation to Lord Jagannath in five phases, comprising a sumptuous array of 56 delightful delicacies. It bifurcates into two types: sukhila, encompassing all dry confectioneries, and shankhudi, which includes rice, dal, and other items. Devotees can partake in this sacred offering at Ananda Bazaar, a market situated within the temple premises.

#8. Preparation of the Mahaprasad

The Mahaprasad is meticulously crafted by a multitude of priests, utilizing over 750 clay hearths. The cooking process involves seven earthen pots stacked vertically, and the food is prepared over firewood. It is believed that the contents of the uppermost pot are cooked first, followed by the subsequent pots in the stack.

#9. The Mahaprasad never goes to waste

In a nation notorious for squandering 68 million tons of food annually, there exists a temple where the sustenance prepared for hundreds of thousands of individuals never goes to waste. Not a single morsel is discarded.

#10. Sound of the waves

Upon entering the temple premises, the sound of the sea fades away. According to legend, Goddess Subhadra desired the temple to be a haven of tranquility, and as an appeasement to her wish, the temple suppresses the noise of the sea.

These highlighted facts offer just a glimpse into the intriguing facets of the Lord Jagannath Temple. A visit to this sacred site is an invitation to immerse yourself in the rich history, mysticism, and cultural significance that define this revered place. Plan a visit at least once to experience the divine aura and profound spirituality that permeate the Lord Jagannath Temple of Puri.

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