Located in the sacred town of Puri, the Jagannath Temple or the pride of India was built in the 11th century by King Indradyumna. This glorious temple is the abode of Lord Jagannath who is a form of Lord Vishnu. It is the most revered pilgrimage site for Hindus and is included in the pious Char Dham Yatra with Badrinath, Dwarka and Rameshwaram. Apart from the main shrine that rises high, many minor temples within the complex will make you feel like you have entered God's home itself.
Situated near the Jagannath Temple, this is a very important temple owing to the beliefs around the history of this structure. It is believed that the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati happened on the sixth day of the fortnight of Jyeshta and they were invited to this temple by Goddess Lakshmi. This temple is a must-visit for all tourists and devotees in Puri.
Inside the famous Jagannath temple complex in Puri, is situated a small Ganesh temple, housing an exclusive image of Ganesh known as Natya Ganesh i.e. Dancing Ganesh. This lingam is always submerged with water, which substantiates the legend that Goddess Ganga flows through the top of the shivalinga as a stream.
According to a legend popular in Orissa, long ago, Puri was a centre of Shiva worship. According to this legend, Lord Ramachandra himself installed the Lingam in the Lokanath Temple. This lingam is always submerged with water, which substantiates the legend that Goddess Ganga flows through the top of the shivalinga as a stream. It can only be seen on Pankodhar Ekadasi, before Shivaratri, when the water is removed from the lingam. On that day, thousands of devotees come for a darshan.
Located 3 kilometres away from the main temple complex of Jagannath, the Gundicha Temple acts as the summer retreat for Lord Jagannath, his brother Balarama and sister Subhadra. This temple marks the ending of the Ratha Yatra, where the deities rest for seven days, before making the journey back to their original home. Gundicha temple is empty for the rest of the year, except for the many images depicting the Lord's life.
Goddess Vimala residing within the complex of Jagannath temple in Puri is as important as the main deity. Regarded as a Shakti Peetha, one of the many shrines scattered around India dedicated to the supreme goddess. Goddess Vimala here is a tantric manifestation of the Goddess Mother and is revered by the Shaktism followers as a protector guardian of the temple and the Lord.
Ramachandi Temple is the most celebrated temple in the region. Considered as one Shakti Pitha in Odisha, it is located at the river mouth of River Kushabadra. The scenic location adds to the charm of the temple and besides being a revered religious spot, it is also a popular picnicking place.
Sakshigopal temple has a few legends about how it became a revered shrine for Lord Vishnu. One is about the lord coming to bear witness to a village wedding. Another myth is that the temple is one of the 16 shrines of King Vajra, the grandson of Lord Krishna built for the Lord. Nevertheless, the temple acts as a marking gateway for those who arrive to the holy city of Puri via train or roadway.
Located 7km away from Puri, the Bata Mangala Temple is dedicated to Goddess Mangala. It is said that the Goddess Bata Mangala was responsible in guiding Lord Brahma out of the confusion - the Universal void with no creation - towards Lord Jagannath. This simple thus commemorates the focus and dedication required to proceed towards being able to create. Most pilgrims pray here before they visit the Jagannath Temple.
The Maa Dakshinakali Temple in Puri is dedicated to Goddess Kali. It is a famous temple in Puri.
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