Gundicha Temple, Puri, Orissa, India

Deity: Lord Krishna
Location: Northeastern side of the Jagannath temple, Puri, Orissa
Founded In: 16th century
Significance: Believed to be the dwelling place of Lord Krishna’s aunt
Best time to visit: October to April

Puri as known to the Hindus all over the world as a religious center and for the good stretch of the white sand beaches on the banks of Bay of Bengal. Puri is dominated by two great forces, one created by God, and the other by man.

Gundicha Temple was built by Gundicha Devi to commemorate the birth of his son Niladri Singh. A colossal statue of Lord Narasimhanath, installed in the sanctum of the temple, was built by King Prithiraj Singhdeo. Gundicha Temple is considered to be the home of the aunt of Lord Krishna. However, the temple has been named after the King Indradyumna, who was also known by the name ‘Gundicha’. This is because he was the one who laid the foundation for establishment of this temple.

The distance between the gates of Jagannath temple and the Gundicha temple, is exactly 2,688.0696 meters (8327 feet). The temple is surrounded by a wall and stands in the middle of garden. The compound has two walls, one outer and another inner in the middle of which stands the main shrine. Unlike any other Orissan temple design it is almost a dome with Vishnu’s wheel on the top.

The inner and parts of the outer walls are full of murals and paintings belonging to the sixteenth century. A beautiful Garuda idol adorns the eastern most corner of the temple.

The images of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are annually taken in a chariot procession to the place. The Jagannath triad stay here for seven days. The pious believe that a sight of the Lord here is equal to thousand visits to the main Jagannath temple.

This Temple is known otherwise as ‘Janak puri’ because, here according to Puranic legend the King Indradyaumna performed the sacrifices and the Lords, Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarsana appeared on the altar.

During the Car-festival the Lords spend seven days and there after they go back to their own Temple .

The people believe according to tradition that these tortoises were human beings in their past life and had carried huge stones on their backs for the construction of the Temple of Jagannath (Bada deula). Therefore they became tortoises since them. So they are only the living witnesses of the building of Jagannath Temple by the legendary King Indrayaumna.

Other important Attraction:
Jagannath Temple:
Puri Beach
Temple of Child Krishna at Indradyumna Tank
Atharnala Bridge

How to Reach:
by Air: The nearest airport is in 56 km away, in Bhubaneswar, which has domestic flights to and from Bombay.
by Rail: Puri railway station is a major railway station and is well connected with almost all the major cities of India. The railway station is easily accessible from the main town area.
by Road: Well-connected to all the major cities of Orissa and surrounding areas through extensive network of roads.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Jagannath Temple, Puri, Orissa, India

Location: Puri, Orissa
Built in: 12th century
Dedicated to: Lord Jagannath, Goddess Subhadra, Lord Balabhadra
Significance: One of the pilgrimages of the Hindus

The name Jagannath literally means “Lord of the Universe” It is said that the present temple was begun by King Chora Ganga Deva and finished by his descendant, Anangabhima Deva, during the 12th century.

Lord Jagannath is considered as the form of Lord Krishna.

The Blue Wheel – Jagannath Temple:
There is a wheel on top of the Jagannatha Temple made of an alloy of eight different metals known as ‘Ashta – Dhatu’. It is known as the ‘Nila Chakra’ (blue wheel). It is 11 feet 8 inches high and has a circumference of about 36 feet. A flag is tied every day on a mast attached to the Nila Chakra. On every ‘Ekadasi’ day a lamp is lit on top of the temple near the wheel. The main temple is surrounded by 30 different smaller temples. The ‘Narasimha temple’ adjacent to the western side of the ‘Mukti-Mandapa’ is said to have been constructed before the present temple.
In front of the main gate is an 11m pillar, called ‘Aruna Stambha’, which used to be in front of the Sun Temple in Konark. It was brought to Puri during the 18th century. The figure on top of the pillar is Aruna, the charioteer of the Sun God. In the passage room of this gate is a Deity of Lord Jagannatha called ‘Patita Pavana’ (Savior of the most fallen). This Deity is visible from the road so non Hindus can take ‘Darshana’ of the Lord.

History:
The origin of Jagannath Mandir can be traced in the medieval times. The ancient temple is vital for Vaishnavites/ Hindus. The Vishnu Chakra is the highest point of the temple. The red flag over the Chakra indicates that the Lord is within the shrine. The Jagmohana and the Vimana are believed to made during the reign of Anantavarman Chodaganga Dev (1078 -1148 CE), who was the ruler of Kalinga.

Legend about the origin of Jagannath Temple:
The conventional legend says that the original image of Lord Jagannath (form of Lord Krishna) was found in the vicinity of a fig tree. The image was realized in the form of an Indranila (Blue Jewel). The sight of the image was so glittering that Dharma decided to bury it in the earth. Later, Kind Indradyumna of Malwa sought to locate the image. In order to find the image, he did strict penance and appeased the Lord. Subsequently, Lord Vishnu advised him to go to the Puri seashore, where he would get a floating log. From the log, he could make an image of Lord Jagannath. On finding the log, the King met two artists, who were none other than Lord Vishnu and Vishwakarma. They then made idols of Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra from the log.

Also, during lunar months of Ashadh, the deities change their bodies. This is known as Navakalebar or New Body Ceremony. During this time, the temple is throbbed with innumerable devotees.

Festival:
There are as many as 24 festivals each year, the most important one of them being the Rath Yatra or the Chariot festival in the month June – July. The spectacular chariot festival involves the procession of three colossal chariots bearing the images of Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra through the streets of Puri.Millions of devotees from every corner of the world gather round the temple during the ‘Ratha Yatra’ festival of Sri Jagannath.

The three of them are pulled in huge stringed chariots (Rathas) and the King of Puri himself sweeps the roads with a golden broom for the Lord of the World to pass.

Visiting Hours:
The temple gets open at 5am and is open till midnight. At 1 in noon the gates are closed for half an hour.

Entry Fee: Nil.

When to visit:
The best time to see the temple is during the Rath-Yatra. Else one can visit Puri during Oct.-April.Other Attractions near the Jagannath Puri Temple:Puri is a famous tourist spot. One can visit the Gundicha temple, Indradyumna tank, Siddha Hanuman temple nearby. Also in the vicinity are the Nandankanan Tiger safari and the famous Konark temple.

How to reach:
by Air: Puri can be reached by air as its nearest airport is in Bhubaneswar, 56 km away. Regular buses and trains service is available from Bhubaneswar to Puri.
by Rail: Puri railway station is a major railway station and is well connected with almost all the major cities of India.
by Road: Puri is connected with Bhubaneshwar, Konark, Berhampur, Taptapani, Sambalpur and Kolkata by road.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
Bookmark and Share