Jagannath Temple, Thalaserry Tellicherry

Jagannath Temple, Thalassery Overview

Sree Jagannath Temple in Thalassery is a renowned temple on the coast of Malabar, Kerela. Consecrated by Sree Narayan Guru in 1908 to abolish the social evil of caste system, the rituals at Jagannath Temple are conducted by Non-Brahmins. The temple is located near Jagannath Temple Gate Railway Station, about one kilometer from Thalassery city. A small trail on the side of the railway track leads to the temple. Jagannath Temple was opened to Harijans in the 1920s, while many temples in the country still deny entry to Scheduled castes and tribes. The main deity here is Lord Shiva. Ezhava Shiva was the name given to the idol of Lord Siva by Sree Narayan Guru, emphasizing that the place was open to every caste.

The temple is reminiscent of Jagannath Temple, Puri. The idol was built by a renowned sculptor Thavarali and is made up of Panchaloha. Panchaloha is a Sanskrit word which literally translates to 'five metals' in English, the process involved mixing five different kinds of metals into one specialized alloy. A statue of Sree Narayan Guru built in Italy was also installed in the temple complex in 1927 to recognize his efforts for the backward classes. He had a glimpse of his own statue at Colombo where it arrived before coming to Thalassery. There are also a number of cows in the complex and visitors often feed them grass. 

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Jagannath Temple Architecture

The walls of Jagannath Temple are white washed and the sloping roof has red clay tiles. The Sreekovil (Main Sanctum) has no windows and only the priests are allowed to enter inside. There are beautiful wood carvings on the ceilings of the temple. The temple is constructed in Kerala architectural style. There is a well near the temple used exclusively for pooja and rituals. There is a beautiful pond on the premises with steps cut on all sides for people to enter the water safely. In the middle of the pond is a lovely fountain with four elephant heads.

Major Festivals Celebrated at Jagannath Temple

The annual temple festival starts on the Punartham day in the month of Kumbham. The Jagannath temple festival lasts eight days. The cultural programs are famous, with fireworks attracting a huge crowd. The Rath Yatra festival is celebrated on the occasion of the full moon during the month of Jyestha according to the Hindu Calendar. i.e. (May-June). On the day of the Rath Yatra, the idols of the Gods are brought out & placed in their particular chariots, which are kept near Singhadwar. The idols of Sudarshana, Balabhadra, followed by Subhadra & Jagannath are taken to chariots in a customary ceremony. At night, the idols return to their in the Temple in a procession & are placed in a place known Anasarapindi. They are unexposed to the general public view for 15 days. In this time, the helpers (Sevaks) of a specific group called as 'Daitapatis' perform certain secret customs and rituals to the Gods. Before the day of Rath Yatra, the Gods give 'Darshan' to hundreds & thousands of keen devotees. This 'Darshan', is termed as 'Navajouvan Darshan'. The event is also known as Ghosha Yatra and the Gundicha Yatra.

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