Shree Jagannath Temple of Puri is one of the most sacred hindu temple in India. The temple is an important pilgrimage destination and one of the four great 'Char Dham' pilgrimage sites, found at India's four cardinal points. Lord Jagannath along with brother Lord Balabhadra and sister Devi Subhadra are worshipped here. Thousands of devotees visit every day to the holy temple. The largest crowd in Puri is seen during the Car Festival of Jaganath which takes place every year in the months of June-July.
The two Gods and the Goddess of the temple are ornamented according to the occasion and seasonal change. Unbelievably, the temple employs about 6000 men to perform the complicated rituals involved in the temple. An estimated 20,000 people, divided into 36 orders and 97 classes depend on Jagannath for their livelihood. The Temple has four entrance gates named as Singhadwara (Lion gate), Ashwadwara (Horse gate), Hathidwara (Elephant gate) and Vyaghradwara(Tiger gate). Once you enter to the temple you do not hear the sound of the sea which seems quite impossible because outside the door the sun is loud and clear.
The temple is famous for its annual Rath Yatra, or chariot festival, in which the three principal deities are pulled on huge and elaborately decorated temple cars. These gave their name to the English term Juggernaut. Unlike the stone and metal icons found in most Hindu temples, the image of Jagannath is made of wood and is ceremoniously replaced every twelve or nineteen years by an exact replica.
Best time to visit: Ratha Yatra
Open Time: Day Time
Popular Cuisine: Khaja, Mahaprasad, Tanka Torani
Attractions: Jagannath Temple, MahaLaxmi Temple, Temple Gates, Tulasi Garden
Nearest Bus Stop: Puri (2.1km)
Nearest Railway Station: Puri (3km)
Travel Options: Train, Bus, Cab
Nearest town: Puri
Distance from Bhubaneswar: 64 km