Jagannath Puri Temple, the famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath, is located in the coastal town of Puri in the state of Odisha (formerly known as Orissa), India.
Jagannath Puri Temple
Jagannath means ‘Lord of the Universe’ in Sanskrit. Puri Jagannath Temple is important particularly to the worshipers of Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu. Puri Jagannath Temple is part of the ‘Char Dham‘ pilgrimage (char means Four in Hindi langage) that a Hindu is expected to make in one’s lifetime. The four Hindu temples in char Dham package tour are Rameswaram, Badrinath, Dwarka and this temple at Puri.
The temple is sacred to the Vaishnavites. Gaudiya Vaishnavism’s founder, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, was attracted to the Puri deity and lived in Puri for many years. Jagannath Puri Temple is the only temple in India where Lord Krishna’s sister, Subhadra, is workshpped. (along with her brothers Lord Krishna celebrated as Lord Jaganatha in this temple and Lord Balabhadra)
The annual Puri Rath Jathra or Chariot Festival, since medieval times, is very famous and attracts millions of devotes. The three main deities, Jagannath, Balabhadra and the goddess Subhadra, are taken as procession in this festival. This annual procession is also called as Gundicha Jatra or Ghosa Jatra or Dasavatara Jatra or Dasavatara Jatra and by many other names.
Entry Restrictions at Jagannath Puri Temple
Practicing Hindus of non-Indian descent and Hindus of non-Indian origin are excluded from entering the temple premises. Those who are denied entry can view God Jagannath from the roof of the nearby Raghunandan Library at the main entrance to the temple.
How do I go to Jagannath Puri Temple
Puri is an important terminus in the railway stations in India, one km north of the town. There are direct trains to most parts of India from Puri. The railway station code for Puri is ‘PURI’ on the website of Official railway ticket booking site, irctc.co.in.
There are direct bus services to Kolkotta, Visakhapatnam and many other cities. Frequent buses are there to nearby cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Cycle rickshaws are available. You can hire a bicycle or a motor cycle and go around the city.
Bhubaneswar airport is the nearest airport at 60 kilometers away.