Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha

The Jagannath Temple in the city of Puri in the state of Odisha is one of the most important Vishnuitic temples in India. Entry is only allowed to Hindus, from an observation deck, others are allowed to look into the inner area of the temple complex. Countless shrines for the numerous deities of the Hindu pantheon can be found around the entire temple.

For many Hindus, the state of Odisha (formerly Orissa) is the land of Jagannath, the "Lord of the Universe," a special, abstract form of the god Krishna. Its temple in Puri is considered one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage centers and a particularly gracious place of pilgrimage, which is why the coastal city is also known as the "Holy City". Every year in June or July, Rath Yatra, known around the world, takes place here, a festival in which the statues of the gods of Jagannath and his two siblings are pulled through the streets in three large carriages (Ratha).

Jagannath, his "brother" Balabhadra and his "sister" Subhadra reside in the temple as trimurti (trinity) - all three dressed in silk and adorned with golden treasures. These three statues carved from the wood of Hindu holy Niembaume stand on a stone pedestal in the Sanctuary, which is only accessible to Brahmins.

The temple was founded by Codaganga Anantavarman (1088-1160), the first imperial ruler of Orissa around 1130, and about 100 years later declared a kind of imperial temple. Jagannath was proclaimed the real ruler of Orissa, the king understood himself only as his deputy, so that every rebellion became sacrilege.

Under the turmbekrönten and a congratulations and best-making amalaka Ringstein with a ride Kalasha Krug inflated center of the temple complex is located in the Cella (garbhagriha) the "home" of Jagannath along with brother and sister, further anterooms (mandapas) house the visitor's hall as well as the sacrificial and dance hall, where dances were performed in honor of the god. This building complex with its stepped pyramidal roofs was built in the 12th century.

Noteworthy is the large temple kitchen, where daily "Mahaprasad" (the great prasad) is cooked for thousands of pilgrims, rice, dal (a lentil porridge), vegetables and sweets. Cooked properly in earthen pots, it is first offered to Jagannath as a food offering, only then for the faithful from a normal meal is the blessed Prasad. Pilgrims can then buy it for a few rupees.

The temple administration is a matter for the Shri Jagannath Temple Managing Committee. It consists of representatives of those volunteers who have been responsible for generations for specific tasks, as well as representatives of some religious institutions affiliated to the temple. The regional government of Orissa has the right to appoint a certain number of these persons.


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