Shree Jagannath Temple or Jagannath Puri Temple, the famous Hindu pilgrimage tourism temple, is dedicated to Lord Jagannath. Jagannath Temple 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 or Chardham (char means Four in the Hindi language), which a Hindu is expected to make in one’s lifetime. The four Hindu temples in the 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 work-shipped. (along with her brothers Lord Krishna celebrated as Lord Jaganatha in this temple and Lord Balabhadra)
The annual Puri Rath Yathra or Chariot Festival, since medieval times, is very famous and attracts millions of devotees. The three main deities, Jagannath, Balabhadra, and the goddess Subhadra, are taken as a procession in this festival. This annual procession is also called Gundicha Jatra or Ghosa Jatra or Dasavatara Jatra or Dasavatara Jatra or Jagannath rath yatra and by many other names.
Entry Restrictions at Jagannath Puri Temple
Practising 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 Shree Jagannath Temple?
Puri is an important terminus among the railway stations in India, one kilometre 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 the 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 motorcycle and go around the city.
Bhubaneswar airport is the nearest airport to Shree Jagannath Temple, 60 kilometres away.