Details on Lord jagannathdham

History of Lord jagannath temple & about the deities….

imageThe Jagannath Temple in Puri is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath and located in the coastal town of Puri in the state of Odisha, India. The name Jagannath (Lord of the Universe) is a combination of the Sanskrit words Jagat (Universe) and Nath (Lord of) and also, the word "Jagannatha" is evolved from "Jagati" (Oriya: ଜଗତି) (as an elevated platform or "Ratnabedi" on which the wooden form of Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Subhadra are worshiped. "Natha" (Oriya:ନାଥ) (means "Lord").The icon of Jagannath is a carved and decorated wooden stump with large round eyes and with stumps as hands, with the conspicuous absence of any legs.

The worship procedures, practices, sacraments and rituals of Jagannath do not conform to those of classical Hinduism. The principal image of the deity is at the temple city of Puri in Odisha. It is made of wood, which is an exception to common Hindu iconographic deities of metal or stone.The temple is an important pilgrimage destination for many Hindu traditions, particularly worshippers of Krishna and Vishnu, and part of the Char Dham pilgrimages that a Hindu is expected to make in one's lifetime. The temple was built in the 11th century atop its ruins by the progenitor of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, King AnantavarmanChodaganga Deva.

The temple is famous for its annual RathYatra, or chariot festival, in which the three main temple deities are hauled on huge and elaborately decorated temple cars. Since medieval times, it is also associated with intense religious fervor.

The holiest hindu char dham (four divine sites) comprising Rameswaram, Badrinath, Puri and Dwarka.

The four monasteries lie across the four corners of India and their attendant temples are Badrinath Temple at Badrinath in the North, Jagannath Temple at Puri in the East, Dwarakadheesh Temple at Dwarka in the West and Ramanathaswamy Temple at Rameswaram in the South.

It is said and believed that lord Vishnu takes His bath at Rameswaram, meditates at Badrinath, dines at Puri and retires at Dwarika. It is therefore, a lot of importance is given to the temple food "Mahaprasad" (not simply prasad) here at Puri. Though ideologically the temples are divided between the sects of Hinduism, namely Saivism and Vaishnavism, the Char Dham pilgrimage is an all hindu affair.The journey across the four cardinal points in India is considered sacred by Hindus who aspire to visit these temples once in their lifetime.

Traditionally the trip starts at the eastern end from Puri, proceeding in clockwise direction in a manner typically followed for circumambulation in Hindu temples.

Temple structure

imgThe huge temple complex covers an area of over 400,000 square feet (37,000 m2), and is surrounded by a high fortified wall. This 20 feet (6.1 m) high wall is known as MeghanadaPacheri. Another wall known as kurmabedha surrounds the main temple.It contains at least 120 temples and shrines. With its sculptural richness and fluidity of the Oriya style of temple architecture, it is one of the most magnificent monuments of India. The temple has four distinct sectional structures, namely -

  • Deula, Vimana or Garbagriha (Sanctum sanctorum) where the triad deities are lodged on the ratnavedi (Throne of Pearls). In RekhaDeulastyle;
  • Mukhashala (Frontal porch);
  • Natamandir/Natamandapa, which is also known as the Jagamohan (Audience Hall/Dancing Hall), and
  • BhogaMandapa (Offerings Hall).

The main temple is a curvilinear temple and crowning the top is the 'srichakra' (an eight spooked wheel) of Vishnu. Also known as the "Nilachakra", it is made out of Ashtadhatu and is considered sacrosanct among the existing temples in Orissa, the temple of Shri Jagannath is the highest. The temple tower was built on a raised platform of stone and, rising to 214 feet (65 m) above the inner sanctum where the deities reside, dominates the surrounding landscape. The pyramidal roofs of the surrounding temples and adjoining halls, or mandapas, rise in steps toward the tower like a ridge of mountain peaks.

The four entrance gate of lord jagannath temple...

The Singahdwara, which in Sanskrit means The Lion Gate, is one of the four gates to the temple and forms the Main entrance. The Singhadwara is so named because two huge statues of crouching lions exist on either side of the entrance. The gate faces east opening on to the BadaDanda or the Grand Road. The BaisiPahacha or the flight of twenty two steps leads into the temple complex.

An idol of Jagannath known as Patitapavana, which in Sanskrit, means the "Saviour of the downtrodden and the fallen" is painted on the right side of the entrance. In ancient times when untouchables were not allowed inside the temple, they could pray to PatitaPavana. The statues of the two guards to the temple Jaya and Vijaya stand on either side of the doorway just before the commencement of the RathYatra the idols of Jagannath, Balabhadra&Subhadra are taken out of the temple through this gate.

On their return from the Gundicha Temple they have to ceremonially placate Goddess Mahalakshmi, whose statue is carved atop the door, for neglecting to take her with them on the Yatra. Only then the Goddess allows them permission to enter the temple. A magnificent sixteen-sided monolithic pillar known as the Arun stambha stands in front of the main gate. This pillar has an idol of Arun, the charioteer of the Sun God Surya, on its top.

One significant thing about Arunstambha is that prior it was located in the Konark Sun temple, later, the Maratha guru BrahmachariGosainbrought this pillar from Konark. The PuriJagannath Temple was also saved by ShivajiMaharaj from being plundered at his times from the Mughals.

Apart from the Singhadwara, which is the main entrance to the temple, there are three other entrances facing north, south and west. They are named after the sculptures of animals guarding them. The other entrances are the Hathidwara or the Elephant Gate, the Vyaghradwara or the Tiger Gate and the Ashwadwara or the Horse Gate.

The Temple Kitchen, Lord Jagannath Mahaprasada & its meanings...

imageThe temple's kitchen is considered as the largest kitchen in the world,the foods cooked are pure vegetarian without using onions and garlic. Cooking is done only in earthen pots with water drawn from two special wells near the kitchen called Ganges and Yamuna. Tradition maintains that all food cooked in the temple kitchens are supervised by the Goddess Mahalakshmi.

Mahaprasad (Oriya:ମହାପ୍ରସାଦ) is the term applied to the 56 food items offered to Lord Jagannath in the holy Temple of Puri, located in Orissa, India.

Four hallowed shrines located at cardinal points of the Indian sub-continent i.e. Puri, Rameswar, Dwarika and Badrinath are believed to have been liked by Lord Vishnu intimately. It is said and believed that He takes His bath at Rameswaram, meditates at Badrinath, dines at Puri and retires at Dwarika. It is therefore, a lot of importance is given to the temple food "Mahaprasad" (not simply prasad) here at Puri.

According to " SkandaPurana" Lord Jagannath redeems the devotees by permitting them to partake his Mahaprasad, to have His darshan and to worship him by observing rituals and by offering of gifts .Mahaprasad is treated here as 'Anna Brahma'. The temple kitchen has got the capacity to cook for a lakh of devotees on a day. Mahaprasad is cooked only in earthen pots and medium of food is fire wood only. The steam-cooked food is offered to Lord Jagannath first and then to Goddess Vimala after which it becomes Mahaprasad. This Mahaprasad is freely partaken by people of all castes and creeds without any discrimination. The items offered include cooked rice, dal, vegetable curry, sweet-dishes, cakes etc. Dry confectionaries are prepared of sugar, gur, wheat flour, ghee, milk and cheese etc.

When the steam cooked food is carried to Lord in slings of earthen pots no flavor comes up from the food but when the same is carried back to the sale point after being offered to the Lord a delicious smell spells along in the breeze to the pleasant surprise of the devotees. Now the food is blessed.

image Mahaprasad consolidates human bond, sanctifies sacraments and grooms the departing soul for its journey upwards. Mahaprasad are sold in Anand Bazar or the Pleasure Mart of the temple which is situated on the north east corner of the outer enclosure of the temple. It is the biggest open-air hotel in the world where every day thousands of devotees purchase and eat together forgetting their caste, creed and status.

Most of the residents in and around Puri depend upon this Mahaprasad to entertain their guests during social functions such as threading and weddings. In all auspicious occasions in Oriya Hindu families Mahaprasad is taken first.

The tourists prefer to carry a particular type of dry Mahaprasad known as" Khaja" (made of maida, sugar and ghee) which stays fresh for days together.

Dried rice Mahaprasad known as “Nirmalya” is also used by devotees and tourists for different sacred occasions.

Daily Food Offerings to Lord Jagannath...

There are six particular times a day, starting from early morning, when different kinds of Pitha, vegetables, rice and dal are offered to Jagannath and his sibling deities. Locally the offerings are called Dhupa when offered through Sodasa (16) Upchars and Bhoga when offered through pancha upacharas.

The most popular is the midday Naivedhya, which contains the maximum number of food items. The items are not cooked by any human beings, but rather the ingredients are put in earthen vessels and kept on a wooden fire. After time has passed, the items are taken away from fire and taken by supakaras to the Sanctum sanctorum or Garbhagriha for offering. The naivedhya is thereafter offered to the sibling deity that is again offered to maa Vimala, a form of Shakti. Then the Prasad becomes Mahaprasad and people par take the mahaprasad.

When the Sun stays in the zodiac Dhanu, during that time an additional naivedhya is given before sunrise which is called PahiliBhoga.

Daily offerings to the Lord include:

  • GopalaVallabhaBhoga: The first offering to the Lord in the morning that forms his breakfast.
  • SakalaDhupa: The SakalaDhupa forms his next offering at about 10 O’ clock in the morning. This generally consists of 13 items including the Enduri cake and Manthapuli.
  • Bhogamandapabhoga: The next repast and the offering consist of Pakhala with dahi and Kanji payas. The offerings are made in the bhogmandapa, about 200 feet from the RatnaVedi. This is called ChatraBhog and was introduced by AdiShankaracharya in the 8th century to help pilgrims share the temple food.
  • The Madhyanhadhupa forms the next offering at the noon.
  • SandhyaDhupa: This offering to the Lord is made in the evening at around 8 o’clock.
  • BadaSimharaBhoga: The last offering to the Lord.

Except Gopal BallavBhog and BhogMandap all other 4 bhogs are offered near the Ratnabedi inside the frame of Phokaria which is being drawn by the Puja pandas using Muruj. The items that form the core of offerings to Lord Jagannath’s Mahaprasad are:-

Gopal VallabhBhog (Breakfast at 8.30 am)

imgThe offering is the first one of the daily Prasad to Lord Jagannath. The Bhogs are offered at the AnabsarPindi.Breakfast is a seven item treat - Khua, Lahuni, grated sweet coconut, coconut water, and rice puffs sweetened with sugar known as Khai and curd, and ripe bananas.

  • VallabhKhai - 44 Oli
  • Ripe Banana - 7 Nos
  • Nadia Khudi - 3 Sara
  • Big Kora - 29 Nos
  • Small Kora - 220 Nos

Members of Sevayats conduct this Puja in 5 Upchars. The sevayats who conduct this ritual are Puja Panda, SudhaSuar, BallavJogania, Suar Badu, Gara Badu, PaliaMahaSuar. In the month of DhanuSankranti, BallavBhog is offered along with PahaliBhog. Similarly on the DolaPurnima and SnanaPurnima days, the BallavBhog and SakalDhup are taken up at one time. During Anabasar the Bhogs are offered near Jay-Vijay door as Sarpamanohi, but not on ballavpindi. SakalaDhupa (Morning meal at 10.00 am) This is the first cooked meal Bhog. This bhoga is also called 'Kothabhoga' or 'Raja bhoga'The Sevaks offer this Bhoga with 16 Upchars on sitting on Ratnavedi. The following items are offered as Bhog for the purpose.

  • Pithapuli - 4 Sara
  • Badakanti - 5 Sara
  • Enduri - 6 Nos cut in to 12 pieces
  • MithaPuli - 6 Nos
  • DahiAmlu & Gray - 1 Sara
  • Hanskeli - 2 Sara
  • Sanakanti - 3 Sara
  • Chand for Puja Panda - 9
  • KakatuaJhilli - 4 Nos
  • Ada Pachedi - 4 Sara
  • Bundia - 1 Sara
  • Tata Khechudi - 3 Kudia
  • Tata Kanika - 3 Kudia
  • NukhuraKhechudi - 4
  • Sana Khechudi -8 Oli
  • MendhaMundia - 1 No
  • AdhaKania - 2 Kudia
  • TailaKhechudi - 14 Kudia
  • Saga - 5 Oli
  • MajuriKhechudi - 3 Kudia

BhogaMandapaBhoga (Supplementary to breakfast at 11.00 am)

imageAs per the demand of the devotees, the Bhogs are sold for a fee. MadhyannaDhupa (Midday meal at 12.30 to 1.00 pm)

Like the SakalDhup, this is also performed in 16 Upchars. The Sevayats engaged for the SakalaDhupa are only allowed for MadhyanaDhupa and SandhyaDhupa. Generally different types of sweet cakes are offered during this Puja. The Bhogs used for this purpose is as follows:

  • BadaPitha - 4 Sara
  • BadaArisa - 18 Nos
  • MathaPuli - 17 Nos
  • BadaBada - 9 Nos
  • Sana Kakara - 4 Sara
  • Jhadei Nada - 2 Oli
  • BadaKhairachula - 1
  • BadaPuspalakArisa - 10
  • PagaArisa - 9
  • BiriBadi - 4 Oli
  • Thali Anna for Subhadra - 3 Kudua
  • Thali Anna for Jagannath- 4 Kudua
  • Sana OliOria - 4 Oli
  • Muga Dali - 4 Oli
  • Sana OliMarichiPani - 4 Oli
  • Sana Kadamba - 5 Oli
  • BadaKhirisa - 1 Oli
  • SubasPakhal - 11 Oli
  • ChhenaPishta - 2 Sara
  • Sakara - 2 Oli
  • Sana OliBadaKhirisa - 4 Oli
  • Panaka - 5 Oli
  • KadambaHandi - 3 Nos
  • BadaOliMarichiPani - 4 Oli
  • Pita Anna - 4 Oli
  • BhogOdiaBada - 10 Oli
  • Thali Anna for Sudarsan Chakra- 2 Kudua
  • BalabhadraThali Anna - 9 Kudua
  • Jhnada Tada - 1
  • BoakArisa - 6
  • MarichiLadu - 50
  • Sana Khairachula - 4
  • ThaliPakaDhaula - 9
  • Manohar - 8
  • JhadeinadaGula - 10 Nos
  • BadaKakara - 9 Nos
  • Sana Arisa - 21 Nos
  • Tripuri - 5 Sara

SandhyaDhupa (Evening meal at 7.00 to 8.00 pm)

image After the evening Arati, SandhyaDhupBhog is offered. This Arati is also called as Jaya MangalArati. Items are also prepared on request of devotees. The following items are presented for this Bhog.

  • ChipudaPakhal - 14 Oli
  • Sana OliPakhal - 2 Oli
  • KanarPuli - 3 Oli
  • HataPodaAmalu - 7
  • Sana Amalu - 83
  • PaniPakhal - 23 Oli
  • Sakara - 5 Oli
  • Math Puli - 22
  • BadaAmalu - 21

BadaSingharaBhoga (Late night Meal at 11.00 pm)

imgThis is the last Bhog of the deities.As per the record of rites of Srimandir, the time has been fixed for 11.15 pm. Before Dhup, the PaliaPuspalaks dress up the deities with silk dresses (Pata), flower garlands and sing Gita Govinda. The Bhog is performed with 5 Upchars by three members of Puja Pandas by sitting at the side of Ratnabedi. The following items are offered.

  • SuarPitha - 1 Sara
  • Rosa Paika - 1 Sara
  • MithaPakhal - 11
  • Kanji - 3 Oli
  • SarapuliPitha - 5 Sara
  • BiriBuhaPitha - 1 Sara
  • KadaliBada - 15
  • Payasa/Kshiri - 6 Oli

Daliy Rituals of Jagannath Temple...

The word jagannath literary means the lord of the universe he is also DEVADHIDEVA (lord of lords) and RAJADHIRAJ ( king of kings ) . he is purusottama- the supreme purusa. The daily and periodical rituals observed and performed in his service and worship since time immemorial , bear the dignity and grandeour which a supreme person is entitled to. The details of rituals have been specied in certain texts in Sanskrit and oriya. Neeti or rituals signifies a particular type of religious rite. The daily rituals are described below, in brief.

Dwaraphita and MangalaArati

imageThe doors of the sanctum are to be opened by 6.00 am in the morning , as stated in the record of right of temple . during the month of kartika ( October- November ) and dhanu ( dec-jan) and on certain specific days, the doors are to be opened much before 5 am i.e. between 2 to 3 am presence of five sevaks ( servitors ) is necessary for performance of dwaraphita neeti. They are Bhitarchhamahapatra, mudali , pratihari, akhandamekapa, and paliamekapa. They belong to different service group. The doors are opened after Bhitarchhamahapatraexamines the seals, placed on the padlocks on the pervious night by another sevakknow as talichamahapatra. On some days .on account of extra rituals or delay in completion of rituals . it becomes impossible to do ratripahuda ( closing of the temple doors after the final neeti is over in the night ) on such occasions . the question of opening of the doors on the following morning does not arise and only from mangalaarti on wards the rituals are performed

The subsequent neeti after dwarapitha is mangalaarti .it means the offering of lamps to the deities early in the morning . bhitarchhamahapatra and two other puspalakjasevaks perform this neeti standing below the pedestral ( ratnavedi )


The scheduled time for mailam is 7.00 am , but it depends upon the time taken for mangalarti . thesevaks associated with this particular rituals are puspalka ( 3 person ) , khuntia, changadamekapa and dhoba

imageThree puspalakasevaks (not including bhitarchhamahapatra ) change the clothes , flowers , tulsi ( a holy basili plant ) leaves of the deities , worn on the previous night , after removal of clothes another clean or washed set of clothes are worn by the deities . the clothes are known as tadapa and uttarya (like towels ) these are made of cotton worn by the deities for bath these clothes are washed by dhobasevak, who is actually a Brahmin by caste


imageThe time is between 7.30 to 8.30 am in the morning for the purificatory rites of the deities , such as brushing of teeth and bath. These rites are performed by puspalaka ,suarabadu, paniapat, mukhapakhala, padhiary, amlaghatuary, bhandaramekapa, mahabhoi and khurinayak. One should not mean that the deities actually take bath. Three puspalaka perform a simple worship sitting on the floor below the ratnavedi they sprinkle water mixed with camphor, curd amla and sandal paste on three brass mirrors , each about two feet high, symbolizing the bath . before that , they also the tooth sticks and tongue scrappers to the deities , symbolizing brushing of the teeth. during such rites the temple astrologer ( jyotisha ) reads out the tithi and other astrologer details of the day.


imageThe time for sahanamela of the deities , specified in the record of right of the temple is 9.00am during sahanamela devotees are allowed to get uptoratnvedi to have a darshan of the deities without paying fees for it . thus general public get opportunity to see the deities at a very close distance , sahanamela is usually conducted for one hour, though there is provision for sahanamela twice a day but in practice it is held only once generly after mailam , subsesequent to abakasha. on certain festive days sahanamela is held after saandhayadhupa ( evening puja ) . during the month karika it is held in the evening after sandhiyaarti. sometimes it is held after morning dhupa and on certain festive days, there is no provision for sahanamela is not treated as a part of rituals but is held only to enable oordinary public to go near the deities.


imageThis is perform between 10.00 am to 11. 00 am , the deities are again dressed up. They wear different robes and gold ornaments studded with precious stones to suit different festive occasions and seasion.


imageThe time is between 10 to 11.00 am homa or fire sacrifice is done in the sacred kitchen of the deities. Before cooking (Prasad) starts. This important rituals is being done by puja panda sevaks, previously deulasevaks were performing such rituals the other sevaks engaged in the rituals are dhopakhalia and mekapa . roshahoma and beshalagi rituals are held simultaneously

Surya Puja

imageNext follows sun worship . the sun-gold in the inner enclosure near the muktimandapa is worship by a puja panda

Dwrapala Puja

imageThe divine gatekeepers at the jaya-vijaya gate in the main temple are worship by puja panda

Festivals in Puridham...

imageMakarSankranti: It is celebrated on the occasion of uttarayan (northward journey) of the Sun-god. A special semi-liquid preparation called MakaraChaula is offered to the god as prasad and distributed among one and all. (MakaraChaula is prepared by combining semi-pasted rice, milk, scrubbed coconut, banana, chopped cucumber, cottage cheese, sugar, ginger and black pepper - all stirred together).

imageSri Panchami: This day students seek the blessings of Devi Saraswati - the goddess of arts and learning. Puja is performed before the image of the goddess and students observe fast till they make a floral offering(pushpanjali) to her.

imageMaha Shiva Ratri: It is the day of Lord Shiva's appearance in the universe. To celebrate the occasion devotees of Lord Shiva perform puja in temples during the day. There is a custom of remaining awake throughout the night by chanting or listening to the hymns in praise of Lord Shiva.

imagePhaguDasami: This is the celebration of romantic union between Radha and Krishna. Beginning this day images of both Radha and Krishna are placed on a swing and are worshipped by smearing them with abir (coloured powder). This ritual continues till DolaPurnima.

imageDolaPurnima: This is the concluding day of six-day long worship of Radha and Krishna, which starts on PhaguDasami. It is celebrated on the full moon day in the Odia month of Phaalguna. The colour festival of Holi is celebrated usually on the day following DolaPurnima.

imageRama Navami: As in the rest ofIndia, Rama Navami is also celebrated throughout Odisha as the birth day of Lord Rama. It is also the celebration of his wedding with goddess Sita.Pujas are offered by visiting the temples of Lord Rama.

imageChaitraPurnima: A month-long puja of goddess Mangala begins this day (usually on all Tuesdays of the month). Fishermen worship their fishing net, boat and the waters seeking blessings of the almighty for prosperity.

imageAkshayaTrutiya: It is the day when farmers auspiciously begin sowing paddy seeds in their fields. This is also known as 'muthianukula’. The process of construction of the grand chariot of Lord Jagannath for the occasion of RathYatra also begins this day by following the prescribed rituals.

imageSudashaBrata: SudashBrata is observed whenever there is a combination of (1) Shukla Paksha (2) Thursday and (3) Dasami. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped during the day by offering ten MandaPithas in puja (see Oriya Foods page for recipe of MandaPitha). A sacred thread (consisting of ten layers of thread) is prepared in the prescribed manner and tied by women on their arms until the arrival next occasion of SudashaBrata (when the thread is replaced again). To know more about the ritual, you may download the traditionalSudashaBrata Katha in Oriya by clicking on the link available at the bottom of this page

imageMahaVishubaSankranti: It is also known as MeshaSankranti. It is on this day that Sun enters the sign Libra. The Odia community celebrates New year on the occasion. A sweet concoction known as pana is prepared and distributed among one and all. (Pana is prepared by mixing different types of fruits, water, milk, pulp of bela, curd and sugar). Poetry reading sesions and literary functions are also organised this day.

imageSavitriBrata: It is observed by all married women for the well-being of their husbands. Women performing the pujahave to observe fast (eating only fruits and soaked raw mung dal during the day, after performing puja). During the puja they read out or listen to SavirtiBrata Katha which is a poetic rendition of how Maha Sati Savitri saved her husband from the clutches of Yamaraj by dint of her virtues and devotion. (You may download the SavitriBrataKathain Oriya or English by clicking on the links available at the bottom of this page.) It is a custom for women to receive money on the occasion from their parents / brothers towards expenses for the puja.

imageShitalaSasthi: This is the celebration of Lord Shiva’s wedding with goddess Parvati. In villages the wedding celebrations are arranged in a grand manner. The Marriage procession (barat) of Lord Shiva is organized and delicacies are distributed among people in celebration of the celestial wedding.

imageRaja: During this three-day period of Raja, women get their right to rest and enjoyment. They are not supposed to work during these days. It is believed that Mother Earth undergoes her period of menstruation during these three days. Swings are tied under branches of large trees so that women and girls could enjoy swinging while the husbands and other male-members in the family take care of cooking. It is a custom to relish PodaPitha (see Oriya Foods page for recipe) during the festival. Women are strictly forbidden to perform puja of any kind either at home or in the temples during this period.

imageRathYatra: Lord Jagannath along with his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra comes out of the precincts of his temple in Puri for a visit to his aunt’s place at GundichaMandir which is about five kms away. The three deities undertake their journey in three huge chariots pulled by thousands of devotees. It is said that it is an occasion for Lord Jagannath to give an opportunity of his darshan to the people whose entry is forbidden into his temple. (Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the temple). Though this festival had its beginning in Puri, now-a-days it is also being observed through out the world, where ever there are temples of Lord Jagannath.

imageBahudaYatra: It is the day of return journey of Lord Jagannath from the GundichaMandir. It is celebrated with the same pomp and gaiety as that of RathaYatra.

imageChitalagiAmabasya: Also known as ChitauAmabasya. Lord Jagannath is embellished with a golden mark on the forehead called Chitta this day. In homes a special pitha known as ChitauPitha is prepared and offered to Lord Jagannath in Puja (See recipe on our 'Oriya Foods' page.)

imageGamhaPurnima (Rakhi): The practice of tying rakhison the wrists of brothers this day is only a recent phenomenon in the Odia community as imitated from the north Indian communities. Originally in Orissa this day marks the worship of Lord Balabhadra. Bullocks and cows are also worshipped by smearing sindur marks on their head. The youngsters gather in the streets and demonstrate a traditional high jumping skill called Gamha Dian.

imageGanesh Chaturthi: Ganesh Chaturhi is observed by the Oriya community for invoking the blessings of Lord Ganesha as is the custom among other communities in India. Students observe fasting in the day till they make a floral offering (pushpanjali) before the image of Lord Ganesha seeking his blessings for acquiring wisdom.

imageNuakhai: It is celebrated as a way of thanks giving to Mother Earth. Celebrated especially in western orissa on a predetermined day in the Oriya month of Bhadrab it features partaking of the first grains of paddy after harvesting the kharif crop. All in the family and community join together to partake of the holy offering in leaf cups sitting on the ground facing towards east.

imageAparaPaksha: It marks the beginning of a period of 15 days to perform shraddha for paying tributes to one’s departed ancestors. It is performed wishing peaceful stay of the departed ones in heaven.

imageDasahara: As in other states in India, Dasahara also marks the end of four-day long Durga puja celebrations in Orissa. On this day the valedictory puja of Devi Durga is done, and the earthen image the goddess is immersed in river. In Orissa this day at around mid-day all types vehicles such as cars, buses, trucks, bicycles and bullock-carts are worshipped by invoking the presence of Devi Durga into them. In the evening, women perform a special puja called SomanathBrata. It is a form of worshipping lord Shiva. A treatise narrating the tale is Soma Nath is read out. (SomanathBrata Katha in Oriya may be downloaded by clicking on the link available at the bottom of this page). The offerings before the god include MandaPitha ( a delicacy made of wheat flour with stuffing of scrubbed coconut, sugar and spices), ten types of fruits and ten types of flowers. After completion of the Puja in the evening women break their day-long fast.

imageKumara Purnima: It is particularly a festival of kumaris . However it has now evolved into being a festival of kumars as well. The young ones enjoy this festival wearing new dresses. In the evening they worship the full moon in the sky. In the southern parts of Orissa the young and old alike celebrate this festival. Playing of some indoor game on this day is considered mandatory. It is said that one who does not play this day would be born as a toad in the next birth.

imageDipavali: Also known in the northern states of India as Diwali, this festival is mainly celebrated as a remembrance of pitruPurusha, or ancestors. Lighted sticks or diyas are shown towards the sky in the evening seeking the blessings of ancesters and praying for their well-being. Bursting of fire-crackers and decorating houses with candles and diyas this day is not a custom original to Orissa. However this ritual has now been widely adapted from the north Indian states.

imagePanchuka: It is a practice among pious Oriyas to give up non-vegetarian food such as fish, meat and egg during the entire month of Kartik. However those who are not in a position to abstain from non-vegetarian foods during the entire month, have the option to give it up for five days beginning from Panchuka. There is a popular proverb in Oriya which says that even the fish-hunting bird of crane does not touch fish during these five days.

imageKartikPurnima: It is an occasion to commemorate the glorious prosperity of Orissa in the olden days when thesadhabas (maritime traders) practiced maritime trade in far off countries. They were traditionally sailing off into the sea every year on the day of KartikPurnima while their spouses used to see them off by conducting aarti. As a token remembrance of the past glory, this day Oriya women sail off small toy-like boats in the rivers and perform puja early in the morning.

imagePrathamastami: It is an occasion to perform puja for the well-being of the first child in the family. A delicacy calledHaladiPatraEnduriPitha (idlis filled with sweet stuffing and wrapped in green leaves of turmeric plant before being steamed) is the specialty of the day.

imageManabasaGurubar: On every Thursday in the Oriya month of Margasir goddess Lakshmi is worshiped with utmost devotion by Oriya women. They wake up very early in the morning and clean the house with broom-sticks, for it is believed that goddess Lakshmi would never visit the house if the house remains dirty and untidy. The entrance as well as the door step of the house is decorated with artistic Orissanalpana (called chita orjhoti). A pot made of bamboo canes used in the olden days for measuring paddy (known as mana) is filled upto the brink with freshly harvested paddy. It is believed that goddess Lakshmi visits every house-hold during the puja. It is a custom to recite the LaxmiPurana, written by ancient poet Balaram Das, while performing the puja. (You may download the Lakshmi Purana in Oriya and English; and also listen to the audio of it by clicking on the links available at the bottom of this page.)

imageDhanuSankranti: This festival is celebrated by preparing a special delicacy made of sweetened rice flakes called DhanuMuan which is offered to Lord Jagannath in puja. A grand street play is held on this day in the Bargarh town of Orissa enacting the various episodes of Lord Krishna's life. The entire township stretching over five kilometers serves as an open-air theatre and a large number of people participate in it with pomp and splendor.

Lord Jagannath Besha (costume)...

imgLaxmi Narayan Vesha/costume Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends From 11th day (eakadasi) of Kartikamonths to towards lastfive days is observed as Panchaka inpurijagannathdham and duringthis period the deities of purijagannathdham are decorated daily withdifferent Veshas /costume. The first costume/vesha known as -: Laxmi Narayan Vesha On 11th day, the deities are decoratedwith royal garb, golden ornaments, hands andlegs with Ayudha. This costume also known as “Thia Kia” costume/vesha


imgTribikramVesha/costume-: Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends From 11th day of Kartikamonths to towards lastfive days is observed as Panchakain purijagannathdham and duringthis period the deities of purijagannathdham are decorated daily withdifferent Veshas /costume. The second costume/vesha known as -: “TribikramVesha/costume” After ekdasi, on 12th day (dyadasi), the deities are decorate with a heroic dress, a golden sword, a wheel,Conch shell & golden crown on the head with a golden kia…….. This costume also known as “AdaKia” costume/vesha.

imgBanka Chudacostume/Vesha-: Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends From 11th day of Kartikamonths to towards lastfive days is observed as Panchaka inpurijagannathdham and duringthis period the deities of purijagannathdham are decorated daily with differentVeshas /costume. The third costume/vesha known as -: “bankachudaVesha/costume”. On 13th day (trayauedasi), the deities are decoratingwith gold ornaments. This vesha /costume has been continuing since ancient times in the memory of dawapar yoga, when akur came to gopa from Mathura to take sri Krishna by the order of king kansha& during this time he swathe lord Krishna adorned in the banka-chulavesha/costume. Since that time this tradition is continue in lord jagannathdham. Lord jagannath, lord balabhadra&devisubhadra are decorate with the chandarika-chula on the left side of head & a golden kia place on the forehead of lord. A crown is also wearing by the lord..……..

imgLaxmiNrusinghacostume/Vesha-: Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. From 11th day (ekadasi) of Kartikamonths to towards lastfive days is observed as Panchaka inpurijagannathdham and duringthis period the deities of purijagannathdham are decorated daily withdifferent Veshas /costume. The fourth costume/vesha known as -: “LAXMI NRUSINGHA Vesha/costume”. On 14th day (chaturedasi), the deities are mostly decorating withgold ornaments,the most important in this vesha/costume is lord jagannath decorating as a half of lion in celebration of his incarnation as satyayuga. Lord Jagannath& lord Balabhadra hands; feet’s are seen in gold, lord jagannath holding a gold chakra his right hand & a silver conch in the left hand. Lord Balabhadra with gold plough in the left hand & a gold mace in right hand. Golden crown & golden kyais also wearing by the lord on his forehead. The laxmiNrusinghavesha/costume of lords also known as-:”daliakiavesha/costume”

imgRAJARAJESWAR costume/Vesha-: Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. From 11th day (ekadasi) of Kartikamonths to towards lastfive days is observed as Panchaka in purijagannathdham and duringthis period the deities of purijagannathdham are decorate daily withdifferent Veshas /costume. The LAST costume/veshaof kartika month known as -: “RAJARAJESWAR (KING) Vesha/costume”. On last day of kartika of bright full moon light, the deities are mostly decoratingwith gold ornaments. Lord Jagannath& lord Balabhadra hands, feet’s are seen in gold, lord jagannathholding a gold chakra his right hand & a silver conch in the left hand. Lord Balabhadra with gold ploughin the left hand &a gold mace in right hand. Golden crown is also wearing by the lord...…….. The laxmiNrusinghavesha/costume of lords also known as-:”RAJA(KING) vesha/costume”

imgLORD JAGANNATH “NAGARAJUNAVesha/costume”-: Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. The deities are decorated occasionally in this”NagarayunaVesha / costume”. When 6 days of Panchaka falls in the month of Kartik month this vesha/costume will observe in purijagannathdham. Last time this Vesha/costume wasobserved in the year 1995. This vesha/costume honors to lord Parasurama, the warrior incarnation. In this costume the deities are looks like a warrior. The deities are mostly decorating with gold ornaments. Lord Jagannath& lord Balabhadra hands, feet’s are seen in gold, lord jagannath holding a gold chakra his right hand & a silver conch in the left hand. Lord Balabhadra with gold plough in the left hand & a gold mace in right hand.

imgLORD JAGANNATH “SARDHA costume/Vesha”-: Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. The 14th dark day, new moon day and 1st bright days of the month Margasir (December), Lord Jagannath in order to pay homage & torching lamps in respect of his parents Nanda(foster father), Basudeva(Father) in "Dwaparyuga" &Dasarath in "Tretayuga". In these days Lord Jagannath wears plain white with small yellow border clothing. This occasion also known as “DEV-DEEPABALI”.

imgLORD JAGANNATH GHODALAGI “costume/Vesha”-: Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. On the advent of winter season from 6th day of bright fortnight of Margasira to 5thbright fortnight of Magha (December/January), the deities are decorated with GhodaLagiVesha means bodies of deities are covered with colour woolen cloth specific for these days. From the decoration it can be understood that as if the deities are actually feeling cold as like we human being…….

imgLORD JAGANNATH GAJAUDDHARANA “costume/Vesha”-: Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. “GajaUddharanVesha/COSTUME” is done on the full moon day of Magha (January/February). This Vesha depicts Lord's kindness not for human beings only but foranimals also. Once an elephant while taking bath in a river was attacked by a crocodile.The elephant finding no other alternative prayed Lord Vishnu to save him. Lord saved him by sending His Sudarsan Chakra. This prayer of elephant is known as GajaUddharan. This stotra has really a miraculous effect. One who enchants before Lord with devotion of mind, he gets rid of his obstacles like elephant from crocodile. This Vesha /costume is made of Sola &deities are decorated in a life like manner.

imgLORD JAGANNATH PADMA “costume/Vesha”-: Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. PadmaVesha is done on any Wednesday or Saturday between the new moon day of Magha and BasantaPanchami (February). Padma means lotus flower, the availability of which is remote in the month of Magha because of winter season. There is a legend behind this Vesha. Long ago, a great saint devotee of Lord named “Manohar Das” desired to offer lotus flower in this winter. Because of his Bhakti Bhava (deepdevotion towards Lord) it could be possible. From that day this Padma Veshas made of Sola, Jari, and Jhalak powder like white lotus flowersare used for decoration of deities on their heads and arms. A special type of pudding called Padma khiri is offered to deities on this day. Only with this Vesha on Ratnavedi, deities go to sleep and on the following day morning after MangalAlati devotees get chance to see this Vesha.

imgLORD JAGANNATH SUNA(GOLD) “costume/Vesha”-: Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. On the full moon day of Pausa (PusaPurnima) JANUARY, Deva Abhisek or Rajavesa is observed with golden ornaments. In this Vesha, Lord appears, like a royal king. IN THIS VESHA/COSTUME, the deities are mostly decorating with gold ornaments. Lord Jagannath& lord Balabhadra hands, feet’s are seen in gold, lord jagannath holding a gold chakra his right hand & a silver conch in the left hand. Lord Balabhadra with gold plough in the left hand & a gold mace in right hand. Golden crown is also wearing by the lord ...…….. THIS VESH/COSTUME ALS O KNOWN AS- “ROYAL KING” COSTUME/VESHA.

imgLORD JAGANNATH NABANKA “costume/Vesha”-: Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. Before one day of the topic of Capricorn (Makara) January, this NABANK vesha/costume is done alone with rice and flowers festival. At evening time the deities wears huge of Tulasi garlands and tulasichula on head by the help of 'PaliaSingharis' and 'PaliaKhuntia'. In this vesha Lord Jagannath has dressed as NAYAK, a lover or beloved. The dresses are long cloth with red colored border. It is also folded over the heads of the deities in such an attractive way that the red border frames on their face. This vesha / costume were started by Sri Chatyana at the time of his staying at Puri. Nabank means nine types or stages of devotion. Hearing of God and repeating the name of God.

imgLORD JAGANNATH CHACHERI “costume/Vesha”-: Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. From 10th day to the 14th day of bright fortnight day of Phalguna (March/April), the deities are decorated with a Vesh/costume known as “ChachariVesha/costume”. This Vesha/costume symbolize love, devotion, adornment of beauty and peace. On the 15thday (DolaPurnima ) the deities are decorated with finest silk patas, many gold ornaments,and fragrant flowers, this Vesha is known asRaj Vesha, sole king of universe and Trilok(Martya, Swarga, and Patala)…….

imgAbakashaBesha/Costume Of Lord Jagannath WWW.TRAVEL2PURI.COM Jay jagannath, jay shreeKrishna to all my friends…….. On each and every day, the AbakashBeshaof Sri Lord Jagannath is made soon after completetion of MangalaArati&Mailam. The schedule time of this Besha is between 6 AM to 6:30 AM. The morning brushing of teeth and procedure of bathing of deities is known as Abakash. It is said that this abakash has been introduced by Acharya Sankar. It is anticipated that in the 9th century B.C during the reign of king Jajati this besha has been introduced. In this Besha, the Puspalaka is offering three Pata to each Detiesie Lord Jagannath, Balavadra and Subhadra. One Cloth also offred to Lord Sudarshan . In addition to that the napkins are also offered to Jagannath&Balavadra as ‘Utariya’ during this Besha.

img Badasingharbesha/Costume Of Lord Jagannath Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. This besha is observerd on every day at about 10:30 pm in accordance with record right of Sri Mandir(JagannathTemple). Deities are decorated with flower/ thisbesha has been observed in 12 century B.C. Sri Ramadashmatha are supplying flower and other required materials for the purpose. ChangadaMekepa is supplying a special cloth known as Paata rhymes of GeetGobinda are inscribed on this patta. Generally, white scented flowers are required for preparing different ornaments for the purpose. This besha is very important. The celestial deities are waiting to witness the Besha. It is said that AtibadiJagannath Dash used to go sleep after seen the Besha every day.

img Chandanlagibesha/Costume Of Lord Jagannath WWW.TRAVEL2PURI.COM Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. From 3rd day of bright fortnight of Baisakhon the occasion of AKSHAYA TRITYA (May) till 42 days during this hard summer the deities are decorated on RatnaVedi with sandal wood paste mixed with musk and camphor and sweet smelling flowers available in the season. Alaka and Chandrika made of flowers are used to make this Vesha beautiful. To get soothing to his body with cool air; the deities are fanned with a special type of fan known as Alata. The first 21 days of starting from akshayatritya are known as the outer chandanyatra& the remaining 21 days are known as inner chandanyatra…

img Hati (gajanana) besha/Costume Of Lord Jagannath WWW.TRAVEL2PURI.COM Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. On the full moon day of JaistaPurnima(SnanPurnima) month of June, the deities are decorated with a beautiful Vesha known as GajananaVeshaor HatiVesha. There is a legend behind this Vesha. Sri GanapatiBhatta a great devotee of Lord Ganesha from south India came to Purito see Lord on this day of SnanPurnima. On this auspicious day he, however could not see Lord Ganesha on this SnanMandap. He was disappointed. But Lord Jagannath is great, He is Antrayami, He could know the heart of His devotee. In order to appease the desire of GanapatiBhatta, Lord manifested Himself in the form of Lord Ganesha. Since that day, this Vesha is being observed on the day of SnanPurnima.

imgBali bamanbesha/Costume Of Lord Jagannath Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. On the 12th day of bright fortnight of Bhadraba (September), Bali BamanaVesha is celebrated on the RatnaVedi. Lord Jagannath is decorated in such a manner that he looks smaller and dwarf like, whichcommemorates His 5thincarnation on this earth in which he defied theegoism of king Bali.

img Radhadamodarbesha/Costume Of Lord Jagannath Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. From 11th day of Aswin (October), RadhaDamodarVesha commences till the 10th bright day of Kartika (November). RadhaDamodarVesha means to celebrate the love of Radha and Srikrishna, during Krishna Avatar. Lord jagannath is decorated as ‘damodhar’ (lord krishan) during these days. Radhadamodharbhesh/costume also known as ‘Raidamodar’besha/costume of lord.

imgRaghunathbesha/Costume Of Lord Jagannath Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. RaghunathVesha is a royal Vesha. The 9th bright day of Baisakha (April-May) which known as Sree Ram Navami, the deities are decorated as Lord Jagannath as Purusottam Lord Ramachandra , Lord Balabhadra as Lord Laxman and Goddess Mahalaxmi as Goddess Sita. To the left side of Lord Ram Chandra his two brothers Bharat &Satrughan are standed holding umbrella and Chamar (tail of a yak) in their hands. On the right side of Lord Ram stand Lord Balabhadra (Laxman), Lord Brahma & saint Basistha .On the lap of Lord Jagannath (Purusottam Ram) sits goddess Laxmi with Hanuman standing with folded hand along with his army like Angada with Chamar. Jambaban, Bibhisan, Mala, Mila, Gabaya, Gabakhaya with their hands folded also. All these status are made of thermocol on the Ratnavedi. Goddess subhadra sits separately decorated pompously with golden ornaments. Such pompously decorated style is known as "RaghunathVesha" (Ram Abhisekh). In this vesha gold, silver, ruby, precious stones etc. are used. So it is called ornamented sentiment of Lord. This vesha/costume was last time conducted in srimandir on 1905 April 27.

img Banabhojibesha/Costume Of Lord Jagannath Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. On the day of 10th day of dark Bhadraba(Aug-Sept) this BanabhojiVesha is continuing in Srimandir. The deities are dressed as if going to attend a picnic, like cowherd boys. In ancient time it is narrated in Krishnalila that Lord Krishna with his elder brother Balaram and group of cows had gone to the forest for picnic. Reminding this view BanabhojiVesha is still continuing in Srimandir. This vesha is very beautiful and attractive.

imgKaliyadalanabesha/Costume Of Lord Jagannath Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. On the 11th day of dark Bhadraba(Aug-Sept) the KaliyadalanVesha is celebrated in Srimandir. In Krishnalila it is narrated that in Dwaparyuga Lord Srikishna had defeated the notorious cobra named "Kaliya" who was living in the water of Yamuna river and saved the villagers of Gopa. Lord JAGANNATH is dressed like Lord Krishna. This vesha is known as Kaliyadalanvesha.

img Pralambasurabadhabesha/Costume Of Lord Jagannath Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. The 12th day of dark of Bhadraba (Aug-Sept) is celebrated as the PalambasuraBaddhavesha. In the Krishnalila (Dwaparyuga) to celebrate the killing of a demon named Palambasura by Balabhadra, the elder brother of Lord Krishna. From the 16th century AD this vesha or decoration is still continuing in Srimandir as it is mentioned in MadalaPariji (history of Raja Bhoj). Lord Balabhadra wears this decoration known as the PalambasuraBaddhavesha.

imgKrishna balarambesha/Costume Of Lord Jagannath Jay jagannath, jay shree Krishna to all my friends………. On the 13th day of dark Bhadraba(Aug-Sept) Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra are decorated as SriKrishna and Balaram respectively. But this is not an ancient vesha. Perhaps this vesha is going on in Srimandir since 54 years. In this vesha Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra are decorated with two extra hands and Goddess Subhadra is decorated with extra four hands (chaturbhuja). Two hands for protection against fear and in other two hands holding rope and Ankush. This vesha is also known as Ram-Balaramvesha.

Navakalevara of lord jagannath...

img The term Nabakalevara (Oriya: ନବ କଳେବର, Sanskrit: नवकलेवर) is derived from the Sanskrit words Naba or new and Kalevara or body, literally meaning New Body. It is an ancient ritual associated with most of the Jagannath Temples when the Idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan are replaced by a new set of Idols.

imgA year which has two months (Adhika masa) of Ashadha as per the Hindu calendar is auspicious for conducting the ceremony. This usually occurs every twelve to nineteen years. The Deities are made from a special type of Neem wood known as DaruBramha. Preparations for the ceremony start in the month of Chaitra. Last ceremony was done in the year 1996. Next ceremony will be held on 2015.

As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.

imgThe above philosophical view is applied to Shri Jagannath. According to different secret protocols followed from time immemorial in the temple, the provision is there for changing of the deities. As the deities are made up of Neem tree basically,along with Musk, Sandalwood and many other rare combinations, they undergo change of Vigraha before the adhikaashaadha ends. Different agama shastra followed in other parts of India for Vishnu worship, such as Vaikhanasa also prescribe change of deities made up of wood under specific astrological combination. It is to be noted that the deities made of stone or metal need not be changed unless damaged, but the wooden deities are to be changed within specific gap of years and the supreme power must be installed from the old one to the new one, by secret rituals.

imgNo ordinary Neem tree can be used to make the deities. Certain well defined criteria must be satisfied by the tree before it is labelled a DaruBramha fit for deities making. Locating the four holy trees requires divine intervention. As per long standing tradition the Priests of the Jagannath Temple (Puri) worship MaaMangala at the KakatpurMangala Temple. It is said the Goddess appears to them in their dreams revealing the location of the holy trees.

imgAfter the sacred trees are located they are cut down after appropriate ritual observance. The logs are then transported by small carts pulled by devotees all the way till the temple at Puri.Starting at an auspicious hour with the fullest of secrecy the logs are carved into deities within the Temple premises. On the midnight of AdhikaAshadhakrishna Chaturdashi the Tattva Padartha is transferred from the old deity to the new deities. Bramha or tattva padartha is a super natural thing. After this the new deities are worshiped and the old deities buried in the sand,inside temple premises.

imgElaborate rituals, numerous myths and several celestial incidents are attached to this auspicious affair. The exact procedure of the transformation of images has been mentioned in the Sanskrit manuscripts written on palm leaves which are kept in the temple. Only the three head priests of the temple have the sole responsibility of reading and interpreting them.

imgAs the images of Lord Jagannath must be made of wood, the priests must first locate an appropriate tree. As a rule, Neem (Margossa) trees are used to carve out the images of Lord Jagannath. Now no ordinary Neem (Margosa) tree can be used for this purpose. The tree which will be used has to fulfill many conditions. Lord Jagannath is dark in color. So the neem tree from which his deities is to be carved out should be dark; whereas the trees which would be used for the deities of his brother and sister are lighter in color; as his siblings are fair! The Neem tree for Lord Jagannath must have four principal branches – symbolizing four arms of Narayana. There must be a water body near the tree – like a river or a large pond and a cremation ground nearby. An ant-hill should be close to the tree and at the roots of the tree there must be a snake-pit of a cobra. No bird must have made nests in the tree; and no branches would have broken or cut. The tree has to be located near a three-way or would be surrounded by three mountains. No creepers must have grown on the tree and there have to be Varuna, Sahada and Vilva trees (these three trees are not very common) close by. There have to be a hermitage and a temple of Lord Shiva in the vicinity. The most amazing requirement is, on the tree trunk there must be natural impressions of conch-shell and chakra (wheel).

img The function begins after the Big Midday Offering to Lord Jagannath. The blessings of the Lord aresought. A twelve foot garland called Dhanva Mala made especially for this day is offered to the lord and His siblings. After worshipping the Lord, the garland is given to the PatiMahapatra family, who is meant to lead the procession. He would from then on carry the huge garland until the sacred tree is located. Upon spotting the tree the Garland is placed on top of a coconut and offered to the Tree. Apart from the garland, the robes of Lord are given to the descendants of BitarachhaMahapatra family, Dayitapaties, and the PatiMahapatra who would tie it as a turban on their head while going on the procession. Both the garland and the clothes are significant in the sense that it is indicative of the Lord himself traveling with the team.

imgPatta clothes used by the Lord are also given to the Lenka family representative and the nine Maharanas who accompany the group. They are the actual carpenters who build the new chariots every year and who will make the new Jagannath deities as well. Once the Mekap family members touch the forehead of each members of the procession with the Lord’s sandal, the procession officially takes off.

imgTheir first halt would be the palace of the King of Puri where they are required to seek his permission to continue on the holy mission. After staying here for two days and doing meditations and prayers, the team starts out for Kakatpur, a village 50 miles of Puri to the famous temple of MaaMangala. After reaching the village, they take rest for several days while the oldest. Dayitapati sleeps inside the temple. He must have a dream during this stay in which goddess Mangala tells him the exact location where the trees can be found. The tree for each of the four deities will be in a different place. This may take as long as 15 days to one month.During this entire period the group would eat the prasada of goddess Mangala. But sometimes provision is made for MAHAPRASAD to be brought from Puri.

imgOnce the tree is located that fulfills all the required conditions, a yagna is performed in front of it. Now the team moves to a temporary thatched hut nearby and stays in it till the trees are felled. The cutting of the tree would commence at an auspicious time and with prescribed rituals. The PatiMahapatra first touches the tree with a golden axe followed by the Dayitapati who touches it with a silver axe. Lastly, the head wood carver of the Maharana family would touch it with an iron axe. During the tree cutting, the 108 names of God are chanted incessantly.

imgOnce the tree is felled, the entire trunks along with its branches are placed in a wooden cart and dragged by the Daitapatis and the others in the group to the Temple. The logs are kept inside the temple in a place known as KoiliVaikuntha. Koili means "burial ground" and Vaikuntha means "Heaven". It is the place where the old deities will be buried and the new ones made.

imgThe carving of the images begins with three oldest 7 of the main wood carvers setting on to work on the image of Lord Jagannath. The three oldest wood carvers will be the main sculptors for the deity of Lord Jagannath. The images of Lord Balabhadra and Devi are simultaneously carved by other two teams consisting of three carver’seach.More than 50 carpenters work as assistant to the main carvers.The work is done with utmost confidentiality and not even the head priest of the temple is allowed to visit the place of work. There is a special enclosure inside the temple premises where the carving of the Lord is done. The enclosure is open on the top but is attached with very strong doors. The wood carvers are not supposed to consume anything (eat, drink or smoke) once inside the enclosure. The carvings are completed in 21 days and during these 21 days the carvers are not supposed to leave the temple premises. They would sleep in the temple courtyard in the night and have their dinner in the form of Lords Mahaprasad.

imgDevotional songs are sung outside the KoiliBaikuntha day and night during throughout this 21 days period. This continuous singing of devotional songs is called “AkhandBhajan”. While this is done by devadasis and temple musicians, shlokas from the Vedas are chanted continuously by Brahmin priests.

imgWhen the new deities, are made, they are carried inside the inner sanctum of the temple and placed in front of the old deities, facing them. This is again an act that is done with utmost confidentiality as nobody is allowed inside for a Darshan of the Lord, not even the temple priests. The three new deities are carried inside only by descendants of the Dayitapati family. Once they are safely inside, only the three eldest Dayitapati members can stay. No puja is done at this time and no food is offered. Of the four Jagannath's height is 5' 7", and His outstretched arms measure 12 ft. across. He weighs so much that when they carry Him, 5 persons must be on each arm, 20 on His backside, and more than 50 in front pulling. Balabhadra is a bit lighter. His height is 5' 5" and His arms are also 12 ft. across. Subhadra is less than 5', and light. Sudarsana is in a long log-shaped form only. However, this log is 5' 10" in length.

imgThe rights of the Great Transformation are accorded only to the Daitapatis as they are considered to be the descendants of the Daitapati who was the first worshipper of the Lord Jagannath. This ceremony takes place three days before the great Chariot Festival. The transformation is complete once the “Brahman” or the life force (also referred to as pinda) is transferred from the old deities to the new.

There are different rules attached to this act that the Daitapatis must adhere to. These are:

  • The three Dayitapatis must be blindfolded.
  • They must bind a piece of Lord Jagannath's cloth around their hands before the transfer can begin.
  • They should not have shaved since the first day of the search party procession. This is considered to be the disappearance ceremony of Jagannath also. Traditionally, after a member of the family passes away, the son does not shave for ten days, out of respect for the deceased. The house is also whitewashed after the death of any family member. And since Lord Jagannath is considered to be the Head of their respective households, they are required to have their houses whitewashed after this ceremony.
  • The children and all Dayitapati family members wear new clothes on this day of the "transfer". This rite is considered to be the most auspicious ritual of all in Jagannath Temple. It is this ceremony itself that is the actual NabaKalebarYatra, or Transformation Ceremony of Lord Jagannath. The three Dayitapati members fast and meditate the whole day inside the temple. Only after midnight does the transfer of the "Life Force" occur, and that too in total silence.

imgWhat’s interesting here is that no Daitapati till date has been able to experience what actually is this “Brahman”. When asked of their experience at this time, the Dayitapatis say, "It is very difficult to express what Brahman is. It cannot be seen or touched. Our eyes are blindfolded and our hands are covered with cloth when we carry it. Yet a powerful feeling is very much present, like a rabbit jumping in our hands. This is our experience. Beyond this, exactly what this Brahman is that is so powerfully felt, nobody is able to say".

imgDuring the midnight, the old deities are carried on the shoulders of the Dayitapatis and buried in the KoiliVaikuntha before dawn. There are three separate graves for the three deities, but all the previous Jagannaths are laid to rest in the same grave, one on top of the other. It is said that if anybody from outside this select group happens to see any of this ceremony, be it from a roof top or otherwise, they will surely die. The Government of Odisha therefore orders a full blackout of light on this one night in the whole town of Puri.

imgOn the morning of the second day the new deities are seated on the altar, the “Ratna-Singhasana”. On this second day, the daily routine of the temple finally begins again, after a lapse of nearly 58 days. Sweet-smelling flower garlands and new garments arc given to the new deities, food is offered, and puja is done. Devotees can again come inside for darshan. And on the third day the new deities emerge from the temple for the biggest Chariot Festival. The Nava Kalevar draws millions of people from across the world to Puri. Nava Kalevar is one of the biggest festivals in the country and draws the most number of people.

The deities inside & outside the temple area...

  • Balabhadra,Jagannatha, Subhadra
    & Sudarsan
  • KhetreswariVimala
  • Mahalaxmi
  • Uttar Durga
  • Bata Mangala
  • Garuda Stamva
  • BhogaMandap
  • Kalpabrukhya
  • RohiniKunda
  • Bata Ganesh
  • UchstaGanapati
  • Sri Saraswati Devi
  • Nabagraha
  • KonarkSuryadev
  • Padapadma
  • Yagnyabata
  • Angeswar
  • Indranidevi
  • Khetrapala
  • SwanaVairabi
  • Mukteswari
  • Chstrakali
  • Batamarkandeya
  • Katyayani
  • Gopeewara
  • Beda Kali
  • Pataleswara
  • Bhubaneswari
  • Vaikuntheswara
  • Yagnyaswari
  • Isaneswar
  • Sitaia Devi
  • Pakasala
  • Dakhineswara
  • Kundaleswara
  • Ram Chaitanya Temple
  • Baravai Hanuman
  • Nirmalya Hanuman
  • AlakaBatika
  • Chakra Narayan
  • Rameswar
  • Chaturdhama
  • Kanapata Hanuman
  • NiladriVihari
  • Bavabyeswara
  • Sialilata
  • KoiliVaikuntha
  • Tapaswi Hanuman
  • Survarnakupa
  • Ananda Bazar
  • DevasnanaMandapa
  • MeghanadaPrachira
  • Singhadwara (E.gate)
  • ArunaSthamva
  • Badachhata Math
  • Chhauni Math
  • Pejanala
  • Prahari Hanuman
  • Dakhinadwar (S. gate)
  • Durgamadhava
  • Mangaleswari
  • Paschimadwar(W. gate)
  • Uttardwar (N. gate)
  • Sri Lokanath
  • Rameswara
  • Kandunursingha
  • KanduAsrama
  • Nikumvilabata
  • Harachandi
  • Chamundeswari
  • Banadurga
  • Basheli
  • Kapalmochana
  • ManikarnikaTeertha
  • Ghatamangala
  • Vagabati
  • Markandeswara
  • MarkandeyaTeertha
  • Saptamatruka
  • Alamba Devi
  • Atharnala
  • Makardhwaj Hanuman
  • Vargavi River
  • Mukteswara
  • Bata Mangala
  • Kapoteswara
  • Vilweswara
  • Siddha Hanuman
  • IndradyumnaTeertha
  • Nilakantheswara
  • Adinrusingha
  • GundichaMandapa
  • Mausima
  • Marchika Devi
  • Charchika Devi
  • SodashaPutri
  • Narayani
  • Angirasrama
  • Angirabata
  • Dakhina Kali
  • Ugreswarashrama
  • Swetaganga
  • Muktisila
  • AdisankaraPitha
  • Swargadwara
  • Varahi Devi
  • Shyama Kali
  • Bedi Hanuman
  • Chakra Teertha
  • Chakra Narayan
  • MahodadhiTirtha
  • JagannathaBallava
  • KashiBiswanatha
  • Visweswari
  • NarendraSarovar

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