Outstanding Features of Jagannath Temple of Puri
The name ‘Jagannath’ has been derived from two Sanskrit words, ‘Jagat’ and ‘Nath’ which mean ‘Universe’ and ‘ Lord of’.respectively. So ‘Jagannath Temple’ means ‘Temple of Lord of Universe’.
The Temple is believed to have been built by the Kalinga King Anantavarman Chodaganga between 1135 to 50 and its present structure by King Ananga Bhima Deva in 1174.
Outstanding Features of the Temple are, It is One of the Four Holiest Temples of India, It is One of the Biggest Temples of India, It houses the Largest Kitchen in the World, etc.
Established by Sankaracharya
The Temple located on the slope of Blue or Nila Hill, near sea is in the heart of Puri, 65 km from the Capital City of Orissa State of India. It is dedicated to Lord Jagannath or Lord Vishnu and the Other Deities of Temple are Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, Elder Brother and Sister respectively of Lord Jagannath. Wooden Idols of all the Three Deities Decorate the Sanctum of the Temple.
Area of Over Four Lakhs Square Feet
The Temple Complex Occupies a Vast Area of Over Four Lakhs Square Feet and hence it is One of the Biggest Temples of India.. The Complex also houses about 120 Small Temples and the Top or Shikhara’ of the Temple has a Height of 192 Feet.
The Temple has Four Halls. The Outermost is the Hall of Offerings or ‘Bhogmandir’, The Second is Hall for Music and Dance or ‘Nata Mandir’, the third is Worship or Gathering Hall or ‘ Jagamohana’, and the Last and the Fourth Hall is the Sanctum or the’ Deul’..
It has Four Gates, Main Entrance or East Gate located on Grand Road is called Lion Gate or ‘Simhadwara’ that indicates Strength. Southern Gate is addressed as Horse Gate to highlight Military Power . Western Gate is known as Tiger Gate to signify Energy and North Gate has been named Elephant Gate that denotes prosperity.
6000 Priests Work
36 Communities provide their Traditional Services to Deities and 6000 Priests cater to the needs of deities, devotees, etc.
A Blue Wheel or ‘Nila Chakra’ of Lord Jagaannath has been placed on Top of the Temple and every day a different Temple Flag is hoisted on the mast attached to the Blue Wheel
Houses Largest Kitchen in the World
Temple houses the Largest Kitchen in the World and It Prepares Food for One Lakh People on Festival Days and for 25,000 Persons on Normal Days.
However Non-Hindus are strictly prohibited to enter the Temple.
The Temple celebrates various Festivals. However the Most Famous is the Chariot Festival or ‘Rath Yatra’ celebrated in June-July every year attended by large number of people both from India and abroad.