Jagannath Temple, Puri– The History surprises us all the time and so is the spiritual Puri temple. A temple that witnesses eternal faith, sincerity, devotion, and love, is one of the most important places visited by thousands of tourists every day. The majestic Jagganath temple is the humble abode of Lord Jagganath and is the pride of Odisha.


With unbelievable architecture design styles and marvelous artistic work, the temple is an absolute mystical beauty. Other than its countless devotees, the temple is also swamped with travel enthusiasts wanting to explore the beauty of the temple.


Photo credits@ Mona Ashutosh

The temple, alternatively known as Shri Mandir is where Shri Jagganath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, resides with his siblings namely Shri Balabhadra and Maa Subadhra. The temple is located in the holy city of Puri which is an important tourist attraction of Odisha. Covering around 40,000 square feet of area, the temple is surrounded by magnificent walls maintaining the privacy of the temple.


The main temple is of 214 feet high and is known as the highest temple of Odisha with a height of 665 feet by 640 feet of its outer wall, also known as Meghananda Pacheri (Wall). The temple has four entrance gates in all directions, the Lion gate or Singhadwara considering as the main entrance. Other gates are called Haathidwar or Elephant gate, Vyagharadwar or Tiger-gate and Aswadwar or Horse gate named after the animals guarding this wonderful temple.

Once you enter the main gate of the temple, you have to go through the security check-ups and climb around 20-25 steps to reach the main temple. As soon as you enter the main gate, you may experience an army of priests popularly known as pandas approaching you to show the temple.

Photo credits@ Jagyaan


You can choose to pay your respect to the almighty all by yourself or may take the help of any of these priests who can guide you to get inside the temple avoiding the chaos around. There is no fixed fee for this service and thus, one has to be very careful in how much money to shell out here.

There are many other small temples inside the main premises along with the kalpavriksha or the Banyan tree which is considered as an auspicious tree in Hindu religion. The temple is unfortunately barred for any non-Hindus (Sikhs and Jains are allowed) including foreigners.

The marvelous temple is not only an important pilgrimage destination for the Hindus, however, has some eccentric features making it unique and worth to see.


Photo credits@ Purna Mohanty

Its significance among the char dhaam yatra or four divine sites is not hidden from anyone, however, what makes it unique from others is that the three deities are made of wood and is changed every 12 or 19 years. As per an ancient story, Vishwakarma who was the architect of the Hindu Gods hesitantly agreed to carve the idols of Mahaprabhu (another name of Shri Jagganath) and his siblings on a condition that no one would see the idols till its completion and it would be done in an enclosed room.

Photo credits@ Purna Mohanty

However, the lack of construction noise from the closed room made the wife of King Indradamanyu very curious and she requested the King to get the rooms opened. Only to their dismay, Viswakarma decided to leave the idols unfurnished as the King broke their agreement.


Photo credits@ Mona Ashutosh

India is known for its majestic temples and is appreciated for its beautiful architectural styles, carvings and intrigue designs. One such masterpiece is the Jagganath temple which additionally has some mysteries attached to it which scientists have failed to understand till date. 

  1. A beautiful neel chakra is mounted on the top of the temple which is designed in such a way that looks the same from every direction.
  2. The top of the temple is additionally ornamented with colorful flags which surprisingly flows in the opposite direction to the wind’s course. Now how is that even possible? If that leaves you baffled, then it may be of your interest to know that the flag is hoisted every day by the temple priest who climbs up the temple without any harness or protective gears and only with the immense faith and devotion for the almighty.
  3. Another pat on the back of the talented architects would be for creating this unique style temple with no shadow at all. The devotees can debate about the magic of their Lord and non-believers can look for the science behind it but certainly, it is something to applaud for.
  4. One may get surprised to know that not a single bird or plane for that matter has ever flown over this gigantic temple of Puri.
  5. The temple is just 3 km away from the famous Puri beach but as soon as you enter the mystical temple, the sound of these ferocious waves somehow gets muted. You may say that the temple walls are sound proof.


Photo credits@ Purna Mohanty

The sacred land of Puri hosts the Ratha Yatra every year in the month of July which is a chariot parade of Lord Jagganath and his siblings. Once in a year, the trio decides to step out of the temple allowing every individual despite their caste and religion for a holy view or darshan.

The siblings travel in 3 beautifully carved chariots made out of neem wood and ornamented with colorful flowers and rest at their garden house or Gundicha Temple. These chariots are of approximately 45 feet high and take almost 2 months to build by the local craftsmen and artists. They boast about their creation with extreme pride as they have not obtained any professional training yet creates these humungous masterpieces every year with the same precision.

Photo credits@ Purna Mohanty

The chariot possession begins with an important ritual referred as Chhera Pahara in which the roads around the chariots are cleaned by the King of Puri with a golden handled broom. The King again sweeps the floor on the last day of the parade and ends the ritual. Everything starting from the humungous chariots to the millions of visitors, witnessing this 9-day event is undoubtedly an experience to die for. 

As per a popular Odia belief, God gets a high fever at this time and thus, goes to the Mausi Maa temple or the Gundicha temple to take rest and get healed. Well, strangely these are the days with really hot weather conditions in the state.


The temple full of serenity has one of the biggest kitchens not only in India but in the world. Every day a scrumptious meal with 56 favorite delicacies of Shri Jagganath is offered to him (six times) and later gets available for the devotees as Mahaprasad.

The temple cooks still follow a traditional method of cooking by using earthen pots and placing them one over the other. Another astonishing element about this Mahaprasad is the food prepared inside the topmost earthen pot is the first one to get cooked.

The daily food offerings include a variety of food including arna (rice), khichdi, kanika, dal, besara (assorted vegetable curry in mustard gravy), saga (green leafy vegetables), dalma, khatta (sour chutney made of mango or tomato or dates), rasagullas, malpuas, chena poda etc. It can be refered to the blessings of the almighty, that the delicious mahaprasad is cooked in such a quantity that it never gets less for its devotees not gets wasted at all.

There are few other attractions like Puri beach, Pipli village for shopping, the famous Konark temple, Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar which are worth to visit in your Odisha trip. Please click this link to know about these places in detail.


Best way to Reach: With excellent road and rail connectivity, the temple can be reached by enjoying a rail journey till Puri. The temple is just 10 minutes away from the railway station and further can be reached in a bus, auto, taxi or cycle rickshaw. One has to walk a bit as the private vehicles are not allowed till the temple gate.

Alternatively, one may choose to catch a flight till the smart city Bhubaneswar and then enjoy a taxi or bus ride to Puri temple. It nearly takes 1-1.5 hours to reach and is approximately 65 km of distance.


Best Time to Visit: Due to its hot and humid weather conditions, one may prefer to pay a visit anytime other than summers. However, the guests are welcomed with open arms 365 days around the corner.

Visiting Hours: Being an important holy place of India, the temple is usually crowded and opens for its visitors at 5: 30 in the morning to 1 in the noon and then again opens at 4 in the evening till late in the night.


Clicking pictures through phones or cameras are strictly prohibited and hence can be kept in the lockers available outside the temple premises. Looking at the convenience of the visitors, enough shoe racks are also made available at the same place.

Like any other Hindu temple, leather belts and handbags are also not allowed and tourists are discouraged to wear inappropriate and revealing clothes.

Don’t get carried away by the priests of the temple as often they try to extract money in the name of any puja, havan or evil dosh.


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