Jagannath Temple Puri - Images of the colorful wooden idols of Lord Krishna, or Jagannath and his siblings Balabhadra and Subhadra are synonymous with the towering edifice of the Jagannath Temple.
A visit to this architectural masterpiece is an awesome experience and reflects the vision of the rulers during the 12th century AD. Raja Ananta Varman Chodaganga Dev initiated the construction of the temple and was completed during the reign of Anangabhima Deva.
The bright-eyed painted wooden idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are unique to this temple, and have been carved in margosa wood. Other deities worshipped at the Jagannath temple are Sudarshan, Madhaba, Sridevi and Bhudevi. All the idols are richly dressed in silks and cottons, and adorned with gold jewellery, flowers and sandalwood paste.
Every year the idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are ceremoniously escorted by thousands of devotees to the Gundecha Temple during the month of June/July for their annual holiday, and brought back after a week. The procession or the Rath Yatra draws pilgrims from across the state's borders. The chariots seating the idols are replicas of the Jagannath Temple and are gaily decorated with bright applique fabric.
Besides the Rath Yatra, the Jagannath temple celebrates a series of festivals on auspicious days of the Hindu calendar. On Dola Yatra, Bhudevi, Sreedevi and Dologobinda take to their annual sojourn to Dolabedi. During the Snana Yatra festival, Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra, Sudarshan and Madanmohan are bathed with 108 pitchers of water in the temple compound.
Other important festivals observed at the Jagannath Temple are Chandan Yatra, Sayan Ekadasee, Dakhinaayan Sankranti, Snana Yatra, Makar Sankranti, Deva Uthaapana, Praavaran Sashthee and Paarshwa Pari
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