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Learn 11 Amazing Facts About the Jagannath Temple, Puri

Learn 11 Amazing Facts About the Jagannath Temple, Puri

The Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha, is a place of immense spiritual significance and cultural heritage. It almost took three generations to build and set up this humongous temple located in Orissa. Today, it is one of the Char Dham pilgrimages and is visited by millions of devotees every year. 

This iconic temple is not only a symbol of religious devotion but also presents the perfect example of what you may call architectural brilliance

While many are familiar with its annual Rath Yatra festival and the heavenly deities gracing the temple, there are several lesser-known facts that make this temple even more fascinating. Let's uncover some amazing facts that might leave you thinking about the true nature of the universe. 

Hard-to-Believe Facts About Jagannath Temple

Here is a list of facts about Jagannath Temple that will surely make you question your intelligence and will.

1. Colossal Chakra Mystery

temple

 At the top of the temple sits the Sudarshan Chakra, a massive metal structure that actually weighs tons and stands as a testament to ancient engineering marvels. How this colossal structure was installed and why it appears the same from every angle are mysteries that continue to baffle experts and make the visitors all curious.

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2. Jagannath Flag

Well, we all know about the general rule of things flying in the same direction as that of the wind, but do you know that the Jagannath Flag, positioned on the pinnacle of the temple discards nature’s code of conduct? How?

While any ordinary flag would flutter in the direction of the wind, this flag moves against it. This peculiar phenomenon has puzzled both scientists and visitors alike. However, till today the flag’s mysterious flying direction remains unexplained, adding more to the temple’s mystical aura.  

3. The Daily Climb by the Priest

At Jagannath Puri, every day, a priest takes up a daring task i.e., to scale the towering walls of the temple, which is equal to climbing a 45-story building. Now you may be wondering as to why would anyone do such a task, that too on a daily basis. And that’s where the interesting part comes in. 

The priest climbs to the top of the temple to change the flag wavering high on the dome. And you would be surprised that this age-old ritual is performed without any safety or protective gear, symbolizing the temple’s deep-rooted traditions and unwavering faith. It is also believed that if this ritual is skipped even for a day, the temple will be shut down for a period of 18 years - and that’s something that no one wants!

4. Shadowless Temple

We all are well aware of the concept of shadow, right? A shadow is formed when one part of a subject faces the sunlight and leads to the formation of a shadow on the other side. 

But what if we tell you that the Jagannath Temple has no shadow? Surprising, right? But yes, it is true.

Regardless of the sun’s position, the temple casts no shadow, a phenomenon that defies logical explanation of shadow formation. This peculiar trait has sparked many assumptions and debates among the devotees. Some believe that it’s because of the temple’s unique architectural design while others view it as a divine manifestation and miracle of god. 

5. Nothing Flies Above God

The sky is mainly the domain of birds and you can find various birds flying above your head be it any time of the day. 

However, in a curious display of respect for the divine, no birds dare to fly over the Jagannath Temple. And not only this, even airplanes avoid flying directly above it. There’s no particular reason justifying this unique phenomenon and is still unexplained.  Nonetheless, it adds to its mystique and spiritual significance, backing the belief in the temple’s sanctity. 

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6. There’s Never a Shortage of Food 

There’s Never a Shortage of Food Jagannath Temple

 

Do you remember how we’re always taught about not wasting food? Well, the temple crew of Jagannath Puri strongly abide by this principle and follow the same. 

Every day, almost 2,000 to 2,00,000 visitors visit the Jagannath temple. The numbers may vary but what’s interesting to learn about is that the Parsadam here never falls short or is ever wasted. What so amount of Parsad is prepared is efficiently consumed by the devotees and not even a single bite goes to waste. 

What would you call it? Efficient management ability of the temple’s crew or the blessings of Lord Tirupati Balaji?

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7. Mute Water

11 Interesting Facts About the Jagannath Temple

 

As you step through the Singha Dwara entrance of the Jagannath temple, the sound of the ocean waves becomes completely inaudible; however, it returns back as soon as you step out of the temple. The phenomenon is mostly experienced during the evening hours. 

But again, there’s no scientific explanation for this. But as per the local lore, it is said that it was the Subhadra Mayi, the sister of the two presiding deities who wished for complete peace and serenity inside the temple gates. Hence, as a result of her will, the event takes place. 

8. Magical Methods to Cook

The temple’s kitchen employs a unique method of cooking known as the Seven Pots on top of each other. In this method, seven vessels are stacked one above the other and are cooked over the firewood. Herein, the topmost pot is cooked first and the rest of all follow the same order of cooking. This tradition, steeped in ritual and symbolism, reflects the temple’s commitment to preserving ancient practices. 

9. Deities Renewal

Every 14 to 18 years, the Jagannath Temple undergoes a sacred ritual known as Nabakalebara, during which the wooden deities are replaced with new ones. The old deities, made of neem wood, are buried, symbolizing the cycle of creation, preservation, and dissolution. This ritual highlights the temple’s timeless connection to Hindu mythology and spiritual beliefs.

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10. The Rath Yatra

The Rath Yatra

 

The annual Rath Yatra of Jagannath Puri wherein the deities are carried out on a set of 2 heavily decorated chariots. Here, the first chariot takes the deities to the river separating the Jagganath and Mausi Maa temple. Hereafter, the idols are shifted to 3 boats to cross the river. On the other side of the river, the second chariot further carries the deities to the Mausi Maa temple where certain rituals are performed. Every year, over thousands and thousands of devotees join the Rath Yatra to take blessings of the deities and contribute to pulling the chariot (Rath) to its destination.

11. Jagannath Temple was Plundered in the Past

Every year, millions of visitors make offerings to Lord Tirupati Balaji in the form of gold, precious stones, money, and more, making the Jagannath temple a treasure trove. Taking advantage of this, in the past almost 18 invasion attempts were made to rob the priceless treasure that the temple holds. However, learning from the incidents later, the temple was made inaccessible to the public during the reign of King Aurangzeb and was kept closed until he passed away. 

Takeaway

The ancient history and culture are the foundation of the Hindu culture and are what makes it so rich and extraordinary from all the other figures in the world. Likewise Jagannath Puri, there are many other temples that bring forward some exceptional facets of spiritualism and firm our belief that nothing rises above the divine force and everything we find in the universe is merely a blessing of god. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. Why is Jagannath Temple special?
A. Almost everything about the Jagannath Temple is special but its architectural structure and brilliance are what truly sets it apart. It is built in a way that it casts no shadow on the earth, be it at any time of the day. Besides, the chakra placed on top of the temple is positioned in such a way that it appears the same from any and every direction you view it from.
Q. What happens every 12 years in Jagannath Puri?
A. After every 12 years, the 5 wooden idols are replaced with the new ones. This entire process is known as Nabakalebara.
Q. What is special about Lord Jagannath?
A. Lord Jagannath is the Lord of all the 3 worlds i.e., heavens, earth, and the netherworld. He’s only and particularly worshiped in the Orissa region.
Q. Why does Jagannath get a fever?
A. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that Jagannath gets a fever due to prolonged bathing post the event of Devasnana Purnima.
Q. Why Jagannath eyes are so big?
A. There are many different reasons and beliefs regarding this. Some people claim that lord Krishna sees everything in order to look after his devotees. Hence, in order to represent that, Jagannath has big eyes.
Q. Where is Krishna’s heart?
A. Lord Krishna’s heart resides in the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa, which is one of the Char Dhams.

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