Puri (India) is located in the state of Orissa, southeast of the country. The place is called – Nilachala, Shankha-ksetra, Nilagiri. The city is mentioned in the Vedic scripture – Padma Purana. On the ocean coast is a perfect monastery, where God is presented in the form of a tree. Hindus worship this monastery, because it was here that the heavenly being was in bliss – he constantly sang, danced, awakening love and repentance in sinful people.
There are several sacred places for locals in India:
- Badrinath – here the Lord appeared in the form of Sri Nara-Narayana;
- Ravesmarm – the Lord took bath in the form of Ramacandra;
- Dwarka – here a heavenly being rested;
- Jagannath Temple – The Lord was presented with gifts in the form of any products.
Interesting fact! The image of Lord Jagannath is indistinguishable from Lord Krishna.
Puri is located on the shore of the Bay of Bengal at a distance of 60 km from the village of Bhubaneswar. A little more than 201 thousand inhabitants live in the city. The most hot and uncomfortable months to visit are May, June (in the afternoon the air warms up to +33 degrees), the coldest in winter is in December and January, the thermometer does not rise above +18 degrees. Most precipitation falls in August, and the driest month is December.
The main street of the city starts from the temple complex and passes through the entire village. Shops were built along it, souvenir shops where you can buy works of local artists.
Since the city is popular as one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India, the main attraction has religious significance – the Jagannath Temple, which is more than 5 thousand years old.
Also, the village attracts tourists with the annual festival of chariots – Ratha Yatra. Although the city of Puri is located on the ocean, a beach holiday here is not popular for several reasons:
- the beach is dirty;
- in the open sun;
- often crowded with locals, especially at night.
However, in Odis it is the best beach. It has very beautiful sunsets and a light hippie lifestyle.
The city of Puri, convinced by the locals, belongs to Lord Jagannath. In the past, this land was very sick, descended into hell (under water), but subsequently cleared, rose again, rebelled. A demon dominated this land, but when Vishnu came here, he hid in a shell and sank to the seabed. That is why the temple in Puri is often depicted in the form of a beautiful shell. In this epic, a huge number of god names are mentioned, only a local resident is able to repeat them all.
According to another legend, the Jagannath temple in Puri was built by order of King Indradyumna in the very place where the god Krishna completed his earthly journey about five thousand years ago, left a human body. Here the cremation of the earthly body of Krishna took place. Mariners from Europe called the temple the White Pagoda. A religious landmark was surrounded by a wall 6 meters high.
This temple in India is a structure built on a sand dune. The main tower of the attraction is a landmark for sailors who enter the city port. The Indian religious building is fundamentally different from traditional cathedrals in major European cities. The temple in Puri is huge, has a main tower, surrounded by other smaller ones, which are built in honor of various Indian gods.
Interesting to know! On the territory of the temple complex, there are about 30 temples of different heights and sizes.
Entrance to the temple complex is possible from four cardinal points, each gate symbolizes a certain animal:
- east is a lion;
- west is a tiger;
- north is an elephant;
- south is a horse.
Before entering the main temple, the Indians must perform rituals and go around all the temples.
Three interesting facts about the Jagannath Temple:
- the pilgrims are helped by 20 thousand people who constantly live in the territory of a religious shrine;
- In total, 96 Indian castes are represented on the territory of the temple complex;
- in the temple can feed 50 thousand pilgrims.
The landmark is named after Jagannath, however, it is not the only celestial being revered in the temple. They also worship his brother and sister – Balabhadra, Subhadra. Hindus worship the holy trinity as the foundation of the whole world and are the highest laws.
Good to know! European scientists cannot come to a common opinion – they are different deities or a single whole.
The religious building is a shrine for the inhabitants of India, the most revered attraction by the followers of the Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Pilgrim tourists need to spend three days and three nights in a temple in India, the founder of this area, Chiytanya Mahaprabhu, lived in the temple complex for 16 years.
Entrance into the territory of the shrine is strictly forbidden to Christians and representatives of other faiths. This rule is connected with an ancient legend, which says that people from Siberia will try to steal the statue of Jagannath. It was in the Siberian lands that the peoples who were defeated during the battle of the Shabar left.
Good to know! Since Indians are tolerant of all religions, there are places for Europeans where you can watch what is happening on the territory of the temple complex. This can be done from the roof of the Raghunandan Library. The building is located opposite the temple, to get to the roof, you will have to pay a small amount.
The festival is held in the summer – in June or July. The exact date of the organization of the Ratha Yatra is determined by the lunar calendar. To celebrate, three wooden chariots are built, statues of Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra are installed on top. The transport is richly decorated; the best artists of India work on its painting. The largest chariot belongs to the deity Jagannath – it has 16 wheels, a height of 13.4 m. Transport of other smaller celestial beings – 14 wheels, 13 m, 12 wheels, 12.8 m.
On the day of the celebration, locals pull chariots; for this, long ropes are tied to transport. According to legend, a person who helps to carry a chariot will receive the remission of sins, so all local residents tend to touch the rope.
Interesting fact! The sequence of chariots is as follows: the deities of Balarama, the goddess Subhadra and then the god Jagannath.
For a European tourist, the appearance of the deities seated on chariots may seem strange. They practically do not look like sculptures – they have no legs and arms, not even a head, but their bodies are dressed in expensive clothes and decorated with colorful ornaments.
Chariots can also not be called traditional from the point of view of a native of Europe. These are canopy-covered platforms. Inside is a deity. Since palanquins are on wheels, they are called chariots.
On the day of the festival, people in costumes of the “deity” in the chariots described above drive through the streets of the city. All residents are going to watch the show.
Interesting fact! It is believed that if a person dies under the wheels of one of the chariots, he ends the circle of reincarnations and is born absolutely happy.
This theatrical performance symbolizes the return of the god Krishna to his hometown. When chariots pass through all the streets of the city, they return to the temple.
- The flag flies in any direction in any direction that does not coincide with the direction of the wind.
- Wherever you are in Puri, you will always see the top of the main temple, it will face you.
- In Puri, the wind blows in the afternoon from land, in the evening – from the sea, but it should be vice versa.
- Birds and planes never fly over a temple.
- The main dome does not cast a shadow even on a sunny day.
- In the temple every day they cook the same amount of food, which is enough to feed 50 thousand pilgrims. For all the years of the temple’s existence, there wasn’t enough food to be enough or left out.
- The food is cooked in seven pots, which are placed on top of each other, the lowest – on fire, surprisingly, the fastest food is cooked in the upper pot, and in the lower – last.
- Ocean waves are clearly heard in Puri, but there is no such sound in the temple.
In addition to the Jagannath temple in Puri, there are other attractions – the tomb of the deity, as well as the house where he was born, grew up.
Puri (India) is a pilgrimage center, but also a fairly popular resort, but, of course, you should not go here for a beach holiday. India has more comfortable and picturesque beaches. The city will appeal to those who are tired of problems – financial, psychological, and want to devote themselves to spiritual practices. Local residents assure – for whatever purpose a person comes to Puri – curiosity, a desire to serve a deity, a search for knowledge – Jagannatha will not leave anyone indifferent.
Puri is an inexpensive resort for locals: