Monday, June 27, 2011

History of Jagannath Temple, Puri | My 24news

The Jagannath Temple in Puri ,is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath (Vishnu) and located in the coastal town of Puri in the state of Odisha, India. 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 that a Hindu has to be visited in one's lifetime .

The temple was built in the 11th century atop its ruins by the progenitor of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva, grandson of Chola emperor Kulothunga Chola I. 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.

Legendary account as found in the Skanda-Purana, Brahma Purana and other Puranas and later Odia works state that Lord Jagannath was originally worshipped as Lord Neela Madhav by a Savar king ( tribal chief ) named Viswavasu. Having heard about the deity , King Indradyumna sent a Brahmin priest, Vidyapati to locate the deity, who was worshipped secretly in a dense forest by Viswavasu. Vidyapati tried his best but could not locate the place. But at last he managed to marry Viswavasu's daughter Lalita . At repeated request of Vidyapti, Viswavasu took his son-in-law blind folded to a cave where Lord Neela Madhav was worshipped.

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