The holy land of Odisha is divided into four kshetras. These kshetras are named after the four names of weapons of Lord Vishnu such as sankha (conch shell), chakra (disc), gada (mace) and padma (lotus). Puri Dham is known as SankhaKshetra.
This temple is one among the chardham kshethram. This temple is in Odisha .
Others being Rameswaram , Badrinath and Dwaraka .This temple is being referred as Bhojan dham (food) .
There’s is a dwajasthambam at the entrance of the temple which was in Konark before, it is said King Chatrapathi Shivaji brought it from Konark and installed here .
The main dwara consists of 22 steps which represents 18 puranas and 4 vedas . Here the main deity is Lord Jaganath along with Subhatra His sister and Balarama His brother .
This temple has 4 entrance simham dwar elephant dwar, horse dwar and tiger dwar named also named as dharma artha kama moksha dwaram through dharma dwar general peoples are allowed , through artha dwar King and his officials are allowed , through kama saints Maharishi are allowed and through moksha God himself enters this temple .
Similarly there are 4 gopurams bhoja geetha nata and the main sanctum . When we enter the main entrance there is a dwajasthambam named Garuda sthamba , people touch this sthamba and offer their prayers .
It is believed the main diety sanctum was built by Viswakarma himself ( the God of architects) and there is a seperate shrine for him in the pragharam.
The main deities are Subhatra in the centre painted yellow, Balaramar to Her right painted white and Jaganath painted black these deities are made up of neem tree (margosa), once in 12 years . The Ratha yatra (chariot festival) is very famous in this temple and people from all over will come to watch it as in other temples urtsavar will go on the procession here the main deities themselves are taken during the Ratha yatra procession.
The back side of the main sanctum itself is a shrine of Lord Narasimhar to have the dharshan one has to climb a few steps . The inner pragharam consists of Goddess Vimala mandir it’s one of the sakthi peedams . Next to it is Sakshi Gopal shrine , the God of witness , which means those who go to Puri Jaganath must have the dharshan of him as he is the witness of our visit to Puri .
Then seperate shrines of Goddesses Saraswathi Gayathri Sasti Mansi Bhuvaneswari and Lakshmi . There is seperate shrines for Lord Anjineyar at the entrance of this temple .
There is a seperate shrine for Lord Surya Narayanan which was before worshipped in Konark sun temple as it’s under renovation now it has been installed inside this temple .
This temple has a magnanimous kitchen where its cooked for lakhs and lakhs of people daily . For cooking they use only mud utensils and pots , the mud pots once used are not used again for the next day they use a new sets of mud pots and utensils . Instead of stove they use wood for fire and water is dragged from a well named Ganges inside the temple . Though Puri is surrounded by sea the water inside the temple is sweet not salty the other side well is known as Yamuna . No modern equipments for grinding masalas are used and rice is powdered by manual pounding . It’s a vast area with cooking pounding with both the wells rice sacks and mud pots all over .Daily about 56 dishes are cooked here and offered as Prasadham to the Lord Jaganath. The offered Prasadhams are distributed to devotees as annadhan .
The chakra on the top of the main sanctum is called Neel chakra and the chakra looks facing us from wherever we see it . A flag is hoisted everyday by 4pm the flag floats in the opposite direction of the air as this temple is near Puri beach .
Astapadi is a sacred hymn was written by Jayadevar in this place only .
There is a kalpavristcham where people tie a thread and make their desire and its believed to become true .
Once in 12 years the idols of Lord Jaganath ,Subhatra and Balaramar are burried and new one are made and the soul of the Lord is installed in it by the priests . The burried place are within the temple complex and they collect Rs. 5 to visit it and flowers are offered daily to the burried place . This signifies that once born death is definite even if its God .
It is said Sri Ramanujar had visited this temple .On reaching Puri, Sri Ramanujacharya began to interact with the local priests and scholars. His natural brilliance attracted people and soon he found a crowd of devotees following in his foot steps. He decided to establish a monastery to be headed by Sri Govinda (his cousin). Govinda was also fondly called Embar by Emperumaanar, hence the mutt came to be known as ‘Embar mutt’.
Today the monastery is known simply as ‘Embar mutt’. The Embar mutt is located right outside the Puri Jagannath temple.
Photography and non Hindus are prohibited no cameras allowed inside.