Shri Jagannath Temple Puri is an important Hindu pilgrimage destination. It is one of the Char-dham Pilgrimage and called as Shreekhetra Dham. The Puri temple is famous for its annual rath yatra in which the three principal deities are pulled on huge and elaborately decorated temple cars.
Unlike the stone and metal icons found in most Hindu temples, the idol of Jagannath is made of wood and is ceremoniously replaced every twelve or nineteen years by an exact replica. The idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladeva and Subhadra are a carved and decorated wooden stump with large round eyes and with stumps as hands. It is made of wood, which is an exception to common Hindu iconography deities of stone.
Revealing some incredible facts about Jagannath Temple Puri, those are awe-strike:
1. Increasing weight of God’s wooden idols
Jagannath Temple Puri, is one of the most miraculous establishments in existence. The happenings associated with it are out of human imagination. If you understand the story then the theory of life and existence of Lord Jagannath will hover around your mind in an unbelievable way! The temple architecture is still a mystery for modern science. The increasing weight of god’s wooden idols, while carrying temples to chariot (rath) at the time of Puri Jagannath still a magical mystery for all.
2. The Heart of Lord Krishna still exists
Mythology says that the once King Indradimna – ruler of Puri had a dream and immediately he followed the instructions of the dream. He then found the heart of Lord Krishna floating in the sea. Since then it is believed that the heart rests in the wooden idol of Lord Jagannath. It is taken out for a duration of 12 years which is known as “NABAKALEBARA” – When the idol of the Lord is changed as well.
Here is story behind discovery of Lord Krishna’s heart.
3. The unruly flag!
According to science, any cloth or flag floats in the direction of wind. But in Jagannath temple Puri; this rule of nature contradicts. As the flag on top of the Sikhara of the temple always floats in opposite direction of the wind.
4. The strange 45 storey ritual!
Every day a priest climbs the dome of the temple which is as tall as a 45 storey building and changes the flag. This ritual has been continuing for 1800 years. The ritual says if it is not changed any day, the temple must be shut for the next 18 years.
5. Is it the real Sudarshan Chakra?
You can see the Sudarshan Chakra at any corner of the city of Puri. It was installed 2000 years ago. So how such a hard metal weighing about a tonne, just got up there without any machinery just with a human force. Modern science and technology has no clue about its architecture. It had done such a way that you can feel the Sudarshan Chakra is facing towards you irrespective of your position.
6. The shadow-less building
Shadow is partial darkness or obscurity within a part of space from which rays from a source of light are cut off by an interposed opaque body. Every You won’t believe that Puri Jagannath temple has no shadow. The engineering structure of the temple is so unique that the shadow of the main dome cannot be observed at any time.
7. No space for Birds and planes!
Nothing flies above the temple. At any temple in India, birds fly and sit atop the temple except Puri Jagannath temple. This is really surprising.
8. The conflicting kitchen!
The Prasadam is cooked in earthen pots on the firewood. Exactly 7 pots are put on top of another. The mystery is the topmost pot gets cooked first followed by the bottom pot in order. A total number of people visiting the temple varies between 2,000 to 2, 00,000 people every day. Miraculously, the Parsadam prepared every day is never wasted, not even a bite.
9. Friendship of the sea and the land
In any place on earth, the wind from sea comes to the land in the daytime and in the evening it blows from land towards the sea. But in Puri, the opposite occurs. In the daytime, the wind blows from land to sea and the opposite in the evening happens.
10. The Choosy Sound of waves
On entering from Singhadwara, as one takes the first step inside the Jagannath Temple Puri, you can’t hear any sound produced by the ocean. But when you cross the same step outside the Temple, you can hear it.
11. The adamant Chariot
The Chariot does not move, even if numerous people pull it; until and unless the King of puri – The Gajapati’s do not come and perform a ritual known as ‘Chera pahanra’.
Know more about Famous Jaganath Rath Yatra and its amazing rituals
This year, the Jagannath Rath yatra falls on Thursday, 4th July 2019. It is celebrated every year on the 2nd day of Shukla Paksha (cycle of moon) in the month of Asadh, the 3rd month according to the lunar calendar followed in some parts of India.