Ratha Yatra (Car or Chariot Festival)
Mausi Ma Temple
Sun Temple, Konark
Welcome to Puri(Konark),
Puri is a district in the Indian state of Odisha. It is also known as Jagannath Puri after the Jagannath Temple (built in the late eleventh century). It is a holy city of the Hindus as a part of the Char Dham pilgrimages. It is considered that a pilgrimage of the temples of India is not complete without making the journey to Puri. Puri also has one of the best beaches for swimming in India and is also a popular beach resort, positioned in a unique place so that both sunset and sunrise can be viewed from the beach.
Major attractions nearby Puri include the Chilka Lake, renowned as the biggest inland salt-water lagoon, Puri beach, Gundicha Ghar, Jagannath Temple, the Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary. The famous Sun temple of Konark is in the close proximity of less than an hour journey. A major celebration in Puri is Rath Yathra(Car or Chariot festival), conducted in every year.
The museum in Konark belongs to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The present museum was started in the year 1968. You will find the sculptures and parts of Sun Temple that came apart from the main temple building. The museum has four galleries that showcase 260 antiquities that were found in and around Sun Temple. The galleries display sculptures like various incarnations of Lord Vishnu, image of Surya God in sandstone and many celestial nymphs.
The other attraction of the museum are a huge structure of head of a crocodile, reconstructed temple wall and the Khandolite built reconstructed wheel. You will get to see images of numerous monumental sites of Odisha which are displayed in the corridors. You can visit the museum on all days except Fridays. The timing for the visit are 10 AM to 5 PM.
At about 20 kms from Puri, on sand dunes near the confluence of the expanded sea and calm River Bhargavi is situated the temple of Baliharchandi. The place derives its name from 'Baliharchandi'-the revered goddess who is considered to be an incarnation of Goddess Durga.
This place is most often the first choice for a picnic or pleasure trip. The solitude that the place enjoys along with the visual enchantments is a haven for lovers of nature. The wild flora and fauna around this place are often the subject of study for young students with a scientific bent of mind. Take care not to wander away into the unknown without the help of local people as quicksand pervades the area. If religious sanctity alongwith scenic beauty is what you are looking for,
Site of a Shaivite shrine, Beleswar, located 15 km from Puri, has an interesting beach. The road from the Jagannath Temple (Puri) up to the beach is covered with thick casuarina trees where travelers can watch the beautiful sunset, which dips into the sea. While travelling from puri to Beleshwar, you will find village Beladala, which people are known for their simplicity and welcoming attitude towards travellers, and Nuanai, the great river, one of the greatest places around Puri for picnic.
There is a beautiful Farm House called Nirjan Niwas, about 150 metres from the Temple, where one can enjoy their stay and is also idealistic for a day-out picnic. Amidst a sanctuary full of deers, this farm house is spread across a sprawling 23 acres (93,000 m2) of land. It hosts enormous numbers of hybrid coconut, mango, cashew and lemon trees.
At about 3 kms from the Sun Temple at Konark is the Chandrabhaga beach. The strong currents do not make it either safe or easy for swimming. But the picturesque view of the sunrise and sunset at this place is enchanting.
According to a myth, the Sun God is believed to have sought a beautiful sea-maiden named Chandrabhaga. After chasing her up to this point, she is said to have disappeared into the sea. A river by the same name Chandrabhaga is supposed to have existed just 3 kms away from the temple where (as another legend goes), Shamba, the son of Lord Krishna prayed to the Sun God for 12 years to be cured of leprosy. In memory of Shamba's successful penance, the Chandrabhaga Mela (festival) is held every year. During the full-moon phase in the month of Magha, the festival.
Chilka Lake (Chilika Lake) is a brackish water lagoon, spread over the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Odisha state on the east coast of India, at the mouth of the Daya River, flowing into the Bay of Bengal. It is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest lagoon in the World. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent. The lake is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals. The lake is an ecosystem with large fishery resources.
The Daya River starts as a branch of the Kuakhai River at Saradeipur (near Badahati) in Odisha state in India. It is joined by the Malaguni River below Golabai and flows through Khordha and Puri districts before emptying into the north-eastern corner of Chilika Lake, 37 km (23 mi) km from its origin.
The historically important Dhauli hills are located on the banks of the Daya River. It is a hill with vast open space adjoining it, and has major Edicts of Ashoka engraved on a mass of rock, by the side of the road leading to the summit of the hill. Dhauli hill is presumed to be the area where Kalinga War was fought.
Archeologically important temples in Puri are many. One of them is the Ganesha temple, dedicated to Sri. Vinayaka. The temple is assumed to be built long back has many carvings showcasing Hindu religious beliefs and cultural heritage. Hindu devotees visit frequently this temple to offer their prayers.
A nearby attraction is Kapalamochana Temple, a small shrine of Lord Shiva at Puri. The sacred well of Manikarnika is located here. Lord Ganesh is also enshrined at this temple.
Adi Sankaracharya established `Purvamnaya matha`or the Govardhana Matha in Puri, in the 9th century A.D. It is also known as the Bhogo Vardhan Matha. At that time the Somavamsi kings ruled Odisha. According to a legendry illustration, Lord Jagannath appeared before Adi Sankaracharya in the form of Brahma of the Vedanta. Sankaracharya was so delighted by this incident that, it motivated him to write Bhaja Govindam Smara Govindam Govindam Bhaja Mudhamate.
The Govardhana Matha or `Purvamnaya matha` in Puri has a marble stone image of its founder Sankaracharya. This Matha also delivers some service to the rituals of Lord Jagannath. The tradition as per initiated by Adi Shankara, the Matha is in charge of the Rig Veda. Niscalananda Sarasvati is the current head of the Govardhana Matha. Now the Sankaracharya of Puri is regarded as an esteemed religious teacher of Hindu Philosophy.
Gundicha Temple or the Garden House of the Hindu God Jagannath is situated in the temple town of Puri in the state of Odisha, India. While it remains vacant most of the year, it is occupied by idols of the deities Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra for nine days every year during the annual Rath Yatra in the Hindu month of Ashadh.
The Jagannath Temple in Puri is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath (Vishnu). The name Jagannath (Lord of the Universe) is a combination of the Sanskrit words Jagat (Universe) and Nath (Lord of). The temple is an important pilgrimage destination for many Hindu traditions, particularly worshippers of Krishna and Vishnu, and part of the Char Dham pilgrimages that a Hindu has to be visited in one's lifetime. The temple is famous for its annual Rath Yatra, or chariot festival, in which the three main temple deities are hauled on huge and elaborately decorated chariots. Since medieval times, it is also associated with intense religious fervour.
The huge temple complex covers an area of over 400,000 square feet (37,000 m2), and is surrounded by a high fortified wall. It contains at least 120 temples and shrines. With its sculptural richness and fluidity of the Odia style of temple architecture, it is one of the most magnificent monuments of India. The main temple is a curvilinear temple and crowning the top is the 'srichakra' (a eight spoked wheel) of Vishnu. Also known as the "Nilachakra", it is made out of Ashtadhatu and is considered sacrosanct.
The temple tower was built on a raised platform of stone and, rising to 214 feet (65 m) above the inner sanctum where the deities reside, dominates the surrounding landscape. The pyramidal roofs of the surrounding temples and adjoining halls, or mandapas, rise in steps toward the tower like a ridge of mountain peaks. The main shrine is enclosed by a 20 feet (6.1 m) high wall. Another wall surrounds the main temple.
Konark is a small town in Puri district in the state of Orrisa, India. Konark is also home to an annual dance festival, held every December, devoted to classical Indian dance forms, including the traditional classical dance of Orrisa, odissi. onark beach is a popular tourist destination, though the waters are deceptively calm. Its main attraction lies in its views of the temple.
The beauty of white sands bordering the beach is captivating. Shopping in Konark is always fun. There is a plethora of items that you can buy here, like the embellished sculptures depicting various Hindu Gods and Goddesses. During festivals, the city becomes alive with fun-filled activities. The Dance Festival of Konark is very popular and people come here from different parts of the country to attend it. It is most famous for the Konark Sun Temple. Other attractions are Mayadevi Temple, Archaeological Museum, Konark Beach etc.
An unspoiled beach in unison with the emerald water and the golden sand, the exquisite beauty and elegance of Konark Beach is more visible at dusk and dawn. A pristine beach, where one can enjoy the sputter of normal seashore and the serenity of a pilgrimage site. Konark Beach is famous for the annual Magha Saptami Mela, during which occasion the devotees perform a holy bath and have a gaze at the rising sun.
The rambling beach at Konark is regarded as one among the best beaches in the eastern coastal line of India. A beach with a vast expansion of golden sands offers a finicky and calm atmosphere of relaxation. A leisurely walk by the beach side, enjoying the gentle breeze is a pleasing experience. One can also doze underneath the sun to enjoy its relaxing effect. Though this is a perfect spot for taking sunbath, the presents of strong currents makes swimming dangerous. Panoramic scenery of sunrise is the other fascinating attractions of this beach.
A small temple dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, situated near to Jagnaath temple, plays a very important place in Rath Yathra. It is assumed that the marriage of Lord Siva and Goddess Parvati is occuring on the sixth day of bright fortnight of Jyeshta, during May-June, on the day known as Jyestha Sukla Sasthi. On this occasion, Goddess Lakshmi happily invites the couple Shiva and Parvathy in this temple. This Lakshmi temple stands for the well being of people in Puri and is attracted by many devotees visiting Puri. This is one of the many important small shrines surrounding the Jagannath temple.
The well-known Shiva temple of Puri, constructed in the 11th century, Loknath Temple is very close to and to the west of the Jagannath Temple. Mythology claims that the sacred shivling of this temple had been founded by Lord Ram. The spectacular specialty of this shivling is that it always happens to be under the water, belief says that Goddess Ganga flows as a stream of water through the head of the shivling.
The main festival of this temple is 'Saranti-Somobar-mela', during which thousands of devotees throng to the temple. It is of high belief that the shivling here has the devotional power of curing and giving relief from many diseases, if the sufferers visit here to seek darshan of Lord Loknath.
Manikpatna (or Manikapatna) is an archeological site in the state of Odisha in eastern India. It has been identified with the medieval port of Chelitalo described by the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang. The site is on the left bank of the Kushabhadra river, at the northern end of the Chilika Lake.
The site is named after the nearby village of Manikpatna, which in turn is named after Manika, a milkmaid whom legend says sold yogurt to Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra when they passed by. The village is home to the Bhabakundalesvara Temple, which has a Shiva Linga made of black chlorite stone as the presiding deity.
Markandeyesvara Temple, placed near the Bindu Sagar and assumed to be constructed during 13th century, is a well known Shiva temple. The temple resembles the other two famous Shiva temples in Orisaa, Vaital Deul Temple and Sisiresvara Temple. The slight difference with the Sisiresvara temple is in the ornamentation of the doorframe, in which 'graha' (Planet) Ketu is absent and the figures of other eight 'Grahas' are only represented.
The frontage of the temple is adorned with a Chaitya window, showcasing a figure of Nataraja with ten arms. The elegantly engraved images of Goddess Parvati, Lord Muruga and Lord Ganesh are placed nicely in the niches of the main sanctum. The corner areas are carved with different forms of Lord Shiva, which includes Aja-Ekapada and Ardhanarishwar. It is worth to visit this temple, to add the attraction there is a carved image of Mahishasuramardini adorned with four arms, which is magnificent.
Mausi Ma, Mother's sister of Lord Jagannath, Temple is one of the most ancient temples nearby Puri and is located at Kulada in Ganjam District of Odisha. As the name suggests the presiding deity is Mausi Ma. This is really a worth visiting pilgrim centre and is the only temple dedicated to the sister of Mother of Lord Jagannath. The temple annual rituals and celebrations are along with the Annual Rath Yathra of Jagannath temple. Important nearby pilgrim centers include Upper Bagh Devi Temple and Ratneswar Mahadev temple.
Situated to the southwest of Sun Temple, Mayadevi is an important attraction of Konark. It is not entirely clear as to whom the temple is dedicated. Some people believe that the temple is dedicated to one of Sun God's wives, while there are some who say that the temple belongs to Sun God himself.
The walls of the temple have erotic sculptures carved on them. Also look at the precise carvings of dancing nymphs, court scenes, floral motifs and hunting scenes that adorn the walls of the temple. Two lion structures stand at the entrance and on either side of the temple you will see two gigantic elephant images. The structure of war-horse also increases the attraction of the temple remains.
The Narasimha temple is located in the southern side of the inner enclosure of the Jagannath temple complex of Puri. The temple is built in sand stones locally called Baulamala and Kanda pathara. The architectural style of the temple dates back to the 10th century A.D. and most probably to the Somavamsi period of Odishan history.
The temple comprises of three vertical divisions such as bada, gandi and mastaka. The base of the vimana is square of 25 feet on each side. The bada of the vimana consists of five fold divisions such as pabhaga, talajangha,bandhana, upara jangha and baranda. The pabhaga is made of five conventional mouldings of khura, kumbha, patta, kani and basanta. The pabhaga portion of the bada is relieved with scroll works, flower designs, jali works (honey combed pattern designs), and erotic scenes crude and female figures in different postures.
The Narendra Tank, one of the largest tanks in Odisha and believed to be built in the 15th century, is located at Mauza Dandimala Sahi, near Puri. This is a holy tank in which the famed Chandana Yatra of Lord Jagannath, known as 'Chandana Pushkarini' is celebrated annually. There are many small and big temples surrounding this tank. The water level of the tank with 16 'ghatas' (bathing places), is about 10 feet below the present road level. The main ghata has a flight of steps made of Khondalite leading to it. There is an island in the center of the lake, with a small temple called Chandana mandapa connected to the south bank with a bridge. This largest tank of Puri is 2 km from Jagannath Temple.
What also comes to light is the important revelation that the cult of the "Devadasi" or female temple dancers was not only pre-valent to the temples in central and south India, but also existed in Odisha in a highly sophisticated form. The more talented devadasi are selected for training in the secret arts of the temple dance "Odissi" which today has become a highly stylized and elegant dance form. The devadashis were used to dance for lord Jagannath with the songs from Jayadev's Geeta Govinda. After the abolition of devadasi system, this dance becomes the most developed classical dance form of the State. Padmashri Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra is the legend of the particular dance form.
Puri Beach is a beach in the city of Puri in the state of Odisha, India. It is on the shore of the Bay of Bengal. It is known for being a tourist attraction and a Hindu sacred place. The beach is the site of the annual Puri Beach Festival, which is co-sponsored by the Indian Ministry of Tourism, the city of Odisha, the Development Commissioner of Handicrafts, and the Eastern Zonal Cultural Center, Kolkata. The beach hosts sand art displays, including work by international award winning local sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik.
With a view to preserve and project our rich cultural heritage, the district Museum at Puri is functioning since 1997. It is one of the branch museums of Odisha state museum and managed by Govt of Odisha. Different Veshas of Lord Jagannath, Sculptures of various Kinds, Patta paintings oalm leaf paintings, Handicrafts of numerous varieties are displayed in this museum.
Puri paintings are paintings done on cloth to which a plaster of cow-dung is first applied to impart stiffness to the cloth so that the paintings would appear attractive. The Puri paintings are described as `very rude oil paintings`. The paintings are done by the hereditary sub caste of chitrakars or professional artists of Odisha. These paintings are sold to the pilgrims who carry them as mementoes of Lord Jagannatha. Great skill is depicted in the pictures of Jagannath sold at Puri.
These paintings depict the Jagannatha Puri temple, Lord Jagannath, Krishna`s life, Rath Jatra or a car festival etc.
Raghurajpur, a small village in Puri district, occupies a unique place in the cultural map of India. It is famous for its master Pattachitra painters and as the birthplace of legendary Odissi dancer Kelucharan Mohapatra. The village is inhabited by artisans producing sheer poetry on pieces of treated cloth, dried palm leaf or paper. Situated on the southern bank of river Bhargavi and surrounded by coconut, palm, mango, jackfruit groves and other tropical trees, Raghurajpur has an idyllic setting. A number of betel vines dot the nearby paddy fields.
Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) selected this village to revive the ancient wall paintings of Odisha and to give this village its rightful place both in the cultural and tourist maps of the country. It attracts thousands of domestic and foreign tourists. It is the first village to be developed as part of the rural tourism promotion project. Every year Raghurajpur hosts a spring festival in the month of February/March named as 'Basant Utsav - Parampara'.
Ratha Yatra is a huge Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Odisha, India during the months of June or July. Most of the city's society is based around the worship of Jagannath (Vishnu) with the ancient temple being the fulcrum of the area. The festival commemorates Lord Jagannath's annual visit to queen Gundicha's temple via his aunt's home (Mausimaa temple which is near Balagandi Chaka in Puri).
Three richly decorated chariots, resembling temple structures, are pulled through the streets of Puri. This commemorates the annual journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balarama, and their sister Subhadra to their aunt' s temple, the Gundicha Temple which is situated at a distance of 2 km from their temple. New chariots are built every year. During the festival, devotees from all over the World go to Puri with an earnest desire to help pull Lords' chariot with the help of other priests pulling the chariots with ropes. They consider this a pious deed and risk their lives in the huge crowd. The huge processions accompanying the chariots play devotional songs with drums, tambourines, trumpets etc.
Sakshi Gopal Temple, one of the ancient temples in Odisha resembling the Puri Jagannath temple as a miniature version, is located at Satyabadi near Puri and considered as a highly revered shrine. The temple idols brought by King Prataprudra Deva after winning over Kanchi depict the eternal love of Krishna and Radha, with a life size image of Krishna playing the flute together with Radha on the left. The images of Radha and Krishna are very remarkable.
It is believed that the pilgrimage to the Jagannath temple will not be complete without offering prayers at this imposing shrine. An annual fair celebrated here on the Anla Navami day in the month of Kritika is a major draw.
Satapara, a retreat in nature on Chilika lake,is poened up to the tourists . For its location near the confluence of the lake with the ocean and proximity to puri(48km), it is an ideal spot to enjoy Chilika . The thrilling sight of dolphins round the year and abundance of migratory and resident birds in winter make it a preffered place for a vacation with nature.
Established in 1977 by famous Shri Sudarshan Sahoo, Sudharshan Craft Museum is located in the Station Road in Puri. The Museum displays famous artistic works of Shri Sudarshan Sahoo and other contemporary artists. Significant exhibits consist of handicraft items, paintings and sculptures in stone, wood and fiberglass. The museum premise is worth visiting, a Japanese style Buddhist temple, a Workshop and a library are enclosed in the premise. The workshop provides a first hand and direct experience on the craft and sculpture.
Art lovers, enthusiasts and connoisseurs are offered with a nice opportunity to learn, to understand and to follow the variety of sculptures and its evolution. Those who are naive in art are encouraged here to pursue artistic profession in this centre.
A 13th century temple dedicated to Lord Surya, Sun Temple at Konark displays the glory of ancient Orian architecture at its zenith. Built in the year 1250 AD, in the reign of King Narasimhadeva-I, Konark temple depicts the varied materialization of Hindu architecture. Till recently, this temple serves as a navigation point to the sailors and the Europeans called this temple as 'Black Pagoda' owing to its black colour.
The carcasses of this temple were unearthed in late 19th century. The Konark temple is broadly recognized not only for its architectural stateliness but also for the obscurity and cornucopia of sculptural vocation. The edifice of the temple is in the shape of a chariot, which is driven by seven horses. The intricately carved wheels of the chariot make the viewers astounding. It is believed that the wheels represents the hours of the day and the shadow of these majestic wheels tell the exact time.
Belonging to the Kalinga School, the characteristic feature of this temple is the wavy towers build up by cupolas. A mammoth construction consisting of the main sanctum, dancing hall, audience hall and dining hall, Sun temple sits in lonely grandeur enclosed by itinerant sand. The entire structure is embroidered with complicated carvings such as images of warriors on horses, foliage, animals and other erotic sculptures.
A world heritage site, the temple's massive size and convoluted stonework, implemented with masterly touch illustrating diverse themes arrest the attention of the spectator. Magnificent in idea, this temple is undeniably one of the most awe-inspiring testimonials of India.
Swargadwar, literally means the door to heaven is a secluded beach and a holy place in Puri. This beach is unaffected by the modern cultural offing and still maintains the sacred nature. Many Hindu devotees visit this beach to have a dip at sea. Legends claim that this was the bathing place of Sri Chaithanyadev who attained the state of Brahma stands for the divine soul. This pilgrim place is attracted by many Hindu pilgrims and they take bath here in the beach at a place named 'Mahadadhi' at the beach. Presently the beach and the nearby beach road are busy with tourists and many shopping centers here provide quality and decorative clothes and other items made locally. Many tourists take this shopping opportunity with great interest.
Vimala temple, Shaktipitha a shrine of Shakti, was constructed by the great kings of Somavamsi Kingdonm in tenth century. This temple enshrines seven Mother Goddesses, Shaktis, namely Brahmi, Maheswari, Andri, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi and Chamunda. Goddess Vimala is the presiding deity of this renowned temple. This temple stands as a monument for the foregone years when Puri was an authentic Sakthipitha. There is a sacred pond assumed to be of Markanda near the temple. This temple provides facility for daily prayers and offerings. Many devotees visit this temple to secure the blessings of Mother Goddesses.
- Some Rivers : Devi, Kadua, Kushabhadra etc.
- Some Temples : Jambeswar, Barahi, Mangala, Amareswar, Gramswar, Alarnath, Kunteswar, Harihar, Shiva, Bayalisbati, Mohabir etc.