Sakshigopal Temple is an ancient Hindu temple of Lord Krishna; where he is worshipped as Sakshigopal. This temple is located in Sakhigopal on the Puri Bhubaneshwar highway, Puri, Odisha. It is situated just 20 Km away from the famous Puri Jagannath Temple. Sakshigopal Temple is formally known as Satyabadi Gopinatha Temple.
The temple is built in Kalinga style and has umpteen bells inside the main vermandah. The hall is equipped with beautiful encrypted designs. His lovable sakhis portraits are also engraved beautifully inside the main mandapam. It was built exactly like Jagannath Temple and has the same architecture. The temple also has a beautiful vast statue of Lord Krishna playing flute.
It is said that a poor young man of the village, later named it as Sakhigopala, fell in love with the daughter of the village headman. However, being of a higher economic status, the headman opposed marriage between this young man and his daughter. The villagers, including the headman and the young man, went on a pilgrimage to Kashi. The village headman fell ill and was abandoned by fellow villagers. The young man tended to him so well that he soon got well and, in gratitude, promised his daughter in marriage to the young man. As soon as they returned to the village, the headman went back on his promise, asking the young man to produce a witness in support of his claim.
Lord Gopala impressed by the young man's devotion and agreed to come and bear witness to the promise on one condition: that the young man lead the way and he would follow, but the young man must never look back. He led the way to the village, passing a mound of sand. As they passed, the man could not hear the Lord's footsteps and turned back. Immediately the Lord turned into a statue of stone rooted to the spot. The villagers were still so impressed that God himself came to back the young man's claim that the youngsters were married off; they were later appointed as the first priests of the temple.
Puja and Festivals
The food offerings at Sakhigopala temple are made of wheat instead of rice. This is one of the exceptional offerings among the worshipping processes of Vishnu temples all over the world
Amla Navami celebration is the major attraction of Sakhigopala temple. The festival is associated with the practice of touching Goddess Radha's feet. Originally the temple was without a statue of Goddess Radha. But when a girl named Lakhmi claimed to be the incarnation of Radha. And it is believed that Lord Krishna (here as Gopala) should not be without his true love Radha; a statue from northern India was installed here.
From that day Amla Navami is celebrated and Hindu pilgrims are allowed inside the temple to touch the goddess's feet. Hundreds of thousands of devotees throng the temple on this holy occasion. Holi, Radha Ashtami, and Janmashtami is also celebrated in this temple with lots of enthusiasm.
Temple Rd | 20 km from Puri, Sakhigopal, Puri 752014, India