Jagannath Temple Puri is one of the most famous and the biggest temples in the state of Orissa. The foundation stone of the temple, dedicated to Lord Jagannath (popularly known as Lord Krishna) or Lord of the Universe, was laid in the 12th century. The Jagannath Puri temple, founded by Raja Ananta Varman Chodaganga Dev, is located on the coast of Bay of Bengal, and is 60 km far from the state capital Bhubaneswar. The devotees, who follow the Vaishnava traditions, greatly honor this temple which is one of the four major Hindu shrines.
According to an interesting belief about the legendary temple, the ruler of the territory King Indradyumna once saw Lord Jagannath in his dreams. And wished by the Lord wished in the dream, the king got the Jagannath Puri temple built. A large number of the devotees from India and abroad visit the temple located in the heart Puri, every year.
They find here the splendor of a 12th century temple along with the magnificent aura. Exquisite carvings are embellished on the walls of this gracefully tall temple. Pictures on the life of Lord Krishna are depicted on the pillars from which the temple gets the support.
Jagannath Puri temple retains the best position in the catalog of the grandest monuments of the state. The temple is the foremost epicenter for the festival of the Rath Yatra in Puri. This festival is celebrated every year on the 2nd day of Shukla Paksha (waxing cycle of moon) in the month of Asadh, the 3rd month according to the lunar calendar of India. Puri Yatra has always been popular among tourists due to its religious connotation. Every year, they visit Puri and take part in the celebrations with full of enthusiasm.
The Rath Yatra or Chariot festival, one of the much-awaited Hindu festivals, honors the Lord Jagannath’s visit along with his siblings – Lord Balbhadra and deity Shubhadra – to the temple of Queen Gundicha. As many as three new splendid chariots are created for the elegant Puri Yatra (the journey) of the Gods – Lord Jagannath and his siblings – every year.
On the graceful day of Rath Yatra Puri, when these 45-feet high idols are pulled by millions of devotees came here from all over the world. During the Rath Yatra Puri, the caravan of Lord Jagannath, on the way, stops at their maternal aunt’s place – Mausima temple – to take the meal of sweet pan cakes, Jagannath’s favorite dish as said. The bejeweled chariots come back to the temple in the same way. During his journey, Lord Jagannath is accompanied also by the celestial wheel called Sudarshan Chakra.
Every year, Puri Rath Yatra Festival Tour is largely organized by the tour operators in the country. Tourists from home country or abroad participate in Rath Yatra Tour, in large number. Puri Rath Yatra 2018 is going to be held on Saturday, 14 July. A variety of tour packages are available in the market for the upcoming Rath Jatra Tour.