Jagannath Puri Temple in Orissa is one of the holiest Hindu shrines in India and a part of the sacred Char Dham Yatra. It is perhaps one of the only important pilgrimage size where the main deity – the image of lord Jagannath – is worshiped in wooden idol.
It is believed by the locals and Hindus in general that Lord Jagannath retires to his bucolic retreat with his elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra every year during mid-summer in his garden palace to relax and take a break from the task of being almighty.
This belief is the reason behind the grand celebrations of one of the biggest religious festivals in India – the Rath Yatra or the Chariot Festival.
Interestingly, this yatra is also the etymological origin of the English word ‘Juggernaut’. During this annual religious event, the three main temple deities are hauled on huge and elaborately decorated temple cars.
Without further digressions, I give to you 8 interesting facts about Jagannath Temple in Puri.
- No bird or planes ever fly above the Jagannath temple.
- The main dome of the temple never casts a shadow at any time of the day.
- The flag atop the Jagannath Puri Temple always flaps in the opposite direction of air.
- The same quantity of food is cooked everyday in the temple premises during entire year but that same quantity of prasadam can feed a thousand people & 2 million people and not a peck of it ever get wasted.
- In the temple’s kitchen, there are 7 pots kept one on top of another and food cooked in them on firewood. However the amazing part of this process is that the contents in the top pot get cooked first & then the content in the bottom one gets cooked the last.
- Sudarshan Charka at top of Jagannath Temple will always face you no matter the direction you stand in.
- As a matter of scientific fact, during the day-time, air blows from sea to land vice versa in the evening but it is the opposite in Puri.
- After entering from Singhadwara’s – the main entrance of the temple – first step from inside of the Temple, one cannot hear any sound produced by the ocean. But, when one crosses the same step from outside of the Temple the sounds of the ocean could be clearly heard. This phenomenon is more pronounced in the evening hours.
*Written with inputs from Deepak Rawat
When not busy in his profession, Deepak Rawat loves to explore the amazing planet earth as a seeker, learner and friend. Having traveled extensively across Indian Subcontinent with keen interest in mountain hikes, treks and pilgrimages; Deepak shares his travel experiences, tips and useful information to enable fellow travelers to plan and execute some of the challenging trips across the subcontinent. For more of his writing you may try indiapilgrimtours.com where he is a regular contributor.
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