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10 Mysterious Secrets Hidden Inside Puri Jagannath Temple

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PURI JAGANNATH TEMPLE

Here we describe in our Blog, the 10 Mysterious Secrets of Puri Jagannath temple enigmas in Odisha—origins, rituals, deities, and secret practices.

Introduction:-

The Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha, India, has a rich history dating back over a millennium. 

Constructed in the 12th century by King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva, the temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. 

Known for its iconic Rath Yatra, the temple attracts millions of pilgrims annually. The shrine has undergone several reconstructions and expansions over the centuries. 

The temple's architecture reflects the Kalinga style, with its distinctive spire or "shikhara." Steeped in legend and devotion, the Jagannath Temple remains a sacred pilgrimage site and a cultural symbol, embodying the spiritual essence of the region.

Read the Top 10 Mysterious Interesting story of the true story of Lord Jagannath Temple at Puri in Odisha

PURI JAGANNTHA TEMPLE FLAG

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1. The Mysterious Construction of the Temple

 

One of the most intriguing mysteries surrounding the Jagannath Temple is the story of how it was constructed in the first place.

Legend has it that the temple was built overnight by Lord Vishnu himself. The story goes that King Indradyumna commissioned the temple to be built according to his specifications. 

However, each morning the king would come to inspect the construction, he would find the previous day's work destroyed or missing.

Frustrated, the king kept a vigil overnight to catch the culprit. To his amazement, he witnessed Lord Vishnu building the temple overnight with thousands of divine entities assisting him. By morning, the grand temple stood complete before the king's eyes.

Some versions of the legend state that Lord Vishnu built the temple to help the king fulfil his wish, as he was a great devotee. Others say that the god wanted to leave his mark on the magnificent temple dedicated to his form as Lord Jagannath.

Whatever the true origins, the overnight mythical construction of the temple by Lord Vishnu himself has added to the aura of mystery and miracles surrounding the sacred site. Even today, the story evokes wonder and reverence amongst devotees.

2. The Disappearance of the Dhvaja Pata.

 

The Dhvaja Pata is a special silk flag that is hoisted atop the Nilachakra (blue wheel) at the top of the temple. This flag is said to protect the temple and remains visible throughout the day. However, every night the flag mysteriously goes missing, only to reappear the next morning.

The disappearance of the Dhvaja Pata at night remains one of the greatest mysteries of the Puri Jagannath temple. According to legends, the flag is lowered by Patita Pavana, an aspect of Lord Jagannath himself. 

Every night Patita Pavana descends from the Nilachakra to the Snana Mandap inside the temple. There he listens to the problems and pains of fallen souls before hoisting the flag back atop the Nilachakra in the morning.

The overnight disappearance of the Dhvaja Pata has baffled devotees and pilgrims for centuries. Many have tried to unravel this mystery by staying awake through the night to witness the phenomenon, but so far no one has been successful. The flag vanishes suddenly without any trace, only to reappear at dawn.

The unique ritual underscores the compassionate nature of Lord Jagannath as Patita Pavana, the redeemer of fallen souls. By listening to their troubles at night, he provides salvation to all. The Dhvaja Pata's diurnal cycle thus remains a profound mystery steeped in divine grace.

3. The Changing Colours of the Idols

 

One of the most fascinating mysteries of the Puri Jagannath temple is how the idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra seem to change colours over time. 

The idols are carved out of neem wood and originally had a light yellowish colour when first carved. However, over months and years, the idols take on varying hues that range from almost black, to red, to light yellow.

Devotees believe that the changing colours signify the different moods of the deities. When the idols appear dark, it is believed that the deities are in a somber mood. The red hue indicates a festive spirit, while yellow is seen as the gods appearing cheerful and radiant. 

Temple priests apply coatings of natural colors like sandalwood paste, vermillion powder and flower essences on the idols, but the core wood itself changes colour over time due to the ageing of the wood as well as environmental factors. 

The temple atmosphere of burning lamps, incense and floral offerings is thought to contribute to the colour transformations.

The exact science behind the colour changes remains a mystery. The transformations happen unevenly, with some parts of the idols changing faster than others. Devotees consider the phenomena to be among the many divine mysteries surrounding the deities enshrined at the ancient Jagannath temple. 

The changing hues are seen as a visible manifestation of the living, dynamic natures of the gods present in the temple.

MAHAPRADA OF PURI JAGANNTH TEMPLE PURI

4. The Mysterious Disappearance of the Brahmagiri Hill

 

Legend has it that the huge Brahmagiri hill near Puri temple in Odisha disappeared overnight to provide space for the temple's construction. As per folklore, Lord Jagannath appeared in the dreams of the Raja and instructed him to build a magnificent temple.

 He promised that the Brahmagiri hill would vanish to make space for the temple.

The king then woke up and set out to find the hill. However, the next morning, the hill had vanished into thin air, just as Lord Jagannath had promised. All that remained was flat empty land for constructing the grand temple.

Till date, the mysterious and sudden disappearance of the massive hill remains an intriguing legend associated with Puri Jagannath temple's origins. 

While rationalists dismiss it as folklore, believers consider it a divine miracle and a sign of Lord Jagannath's powers. The inexplicable vanishing of the gigantic hill continues to fascinate historians and devotees alike.

5. The Legend of King Indradyumna

 

The legend behind the temple dates back to the rule of King Indradyumna. As per the traditional lore, King Indradyumna of the Somavanshi dynasty ruled the region of Malwa and desired to have a temple built with idols for worshipping Lord Jagannath.

The king left no stone unturned in his search for someone who could carve idols of the Lord. He sent his priest in search of an idol maker. The priest wandered all over and finally found the famous sculptor Viswakarma, who agreed to make the idols on the condition that he should be left undisturbed until he finishes the work. The king agreed to his terms.

The sculptor started his work behind closed doors. The anxious king, unable to wait any longer, opened the door before the stipulated period. 

The incomplete idols shone with divine glory, but the sculptor was nowhere to be seen as he cursed that nobody would be able to see the idols in their complete form.

The disappointed king installed the incomplete idols in a temple built on top of Mount Neela in his kingdom. 

It is believed that these original idols were later transferred by King Indradyumna himself to Puri when he was directed by Lord Jagannath in his dream.

6. The Secret Chamber

 

The Jagannath Temple has a secret sealed chamber that no one has entered for centuries. This mysterious chamber is called the "Niladri Bije" and is located under the temple's foundation pedestal.

According to legend, the chamber houses tons of gold, diamonds, and precious gems meant to be used for rebuilding the temple if it is ever destroyed. 

The treasures were collected over hundreds of years from offerings made by kings and pilgrims. The value of these offerings is said to be incalculable.

The exact contents of the chamber are unknown since it has remained unopened for many centuries. 

There is no documented evidence of anyone entering the sealed chamber. Even the temple priests and management committee do not possess the keys to open it.

The chamber can only be unlocked with seven keys, but over the centuries, the keys have been lost or hidden. 

There are various legends about the location of the keys. Some say they were hidden inside the temple deity, while others claim they were thrown into the sea. The mystery and legends surrounding the chamber have increased its allure over the centuries.

While no one knows for sure what resides inside, the Niladri Bije represents the enduring mysteries and myths surrounding the sacred Jagannath Temple. 

The unopened treasure chamber remains a fascinating secret, protected for centuries within the ancient temple walls.

7. The Annual Ratha Yatra

RATHA YATRA OF PURI JAGANNTAH TEMPLE

 

The Ratha Yatra is a popular annual festival associated with Jagannath temple that draws over a million pilgrims each year. 

It involves an elaborate procession where the deities of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are brought out of the temple on elaborately decorated chariots and pulled by thousands of devotees to the Gundicha temple, about 3 km away.

According to legend, the chariot festival was first started by King Indradyumna who had the Jagannath temple constructed. 

It is said that the King was eager to see Lord Jagannath after the temple construction was completed. However, the deity had instructed that no one should see him before the chariots and deities were ready. 

Growing impatient, the King decided to take a peek inside the temple anyway. This angered Lord Jagannath, who cursed the king with white leprosy. To appease the deity, the king instituted the Ratha Yatra, where Jagannath would periodically come out to provide darshan to his devotees.

There are many rituals and ceremonies associated with the festival. A flag-hoisting ceremony several days prior marks the start of the celebrations.

 On the day of the Yatra, the deities are brought out of the temple and onto the chariots in an elaborate Pahandi procession. Chants of 'Hari Bol' fill the air as the chariots are pulled by devotees. 

The three chariots are decorated with intricate carvings and painted in vivid colours. Local legends state that the chariots move by themselves, miraculously pulled by the power of Jagannath. 

After reaching the Gundicha temple, the deities reside for nine days before embarking on the return journey. The Ratha Yatra beautifully captures the splendour, mysticism and devotion surrounding Puri's sacred deities.

8. The Mysterious Sound of Ghanta

 

Between 2 AM to 6 AM, there is a sound that comes from the inner sanctums of the Jagannath Temple. 

This sound resembles the Ghanta (bell) being rung. Devotees have described it as a high-pitched sound of 'OM'. Only priests and specific servants are allowed inside the temple during this time. 

This unexplained sound has been reported for centuries but the source remains a mystery. Several theories have been proposed - it could be related to the breathing exercises done by the deities, or some special rituals done by the priests. 

Sceptics argue that it could be just the sound reverberating from the nearby sea waves. But the fact remains that the source of this mystical Om-like sound from the sanctum sanctorum of Puri temple is still unknown.

9. The Legend of Goddess Laxmi

 

According to legend, Goddess Laxmi once cursed the temple and it will always face scarcity of funds. The story goes that Laxmi and Jagannath were playing a game of dice. Laxmi lost the game and left the temple in anger. 

When Jagannath requested her to return, she refused. She decreed that Jagannath would have to borrow funds from his devotees to maintain the temple.Since then, it is believed that the temple always faced a shortage of funds. 

Devotees consider it auspicious to donate to the temple, as a way of paying off the debt to the Lord. 

During the Snana Yatra festival, when the idols are brought out for public viewing, the huge donations collected are seen as Laxmi finally visiting the temple after a long separation. The legend underlines the symbiotic relationship between Jagannath and his devotees.

10. The Unique Architecture

 

The Jagannath Temple in Puri has a unique architectural style that sets it apart from other temples in India. Built in the 12th century, the temple complex occupies over 400,000 square feet and is surrounded by a 20 foot high fortified wall.

The main temple tower, known as the rekha deula, rises to a height of 214 feet above the inner sanctum and is topped by the wheel or chakra of Vishnu. 

The tower features decorative horizontal ledges and ornate pillars. In front of the main temple is the mukhashala, the porch that housed the magnificent giant idols of Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Subhadra.

What makes the architecture truly unique are the numerous smaller shrines, halls, and monuments within the complex. 

There are over 120 temples and monuments within the enclosure, including shrines dedicated to various Hindu gods and goddesses. The diversity of architectural styles represented is astounding, including many interesting blends and variations.

Some noteworthy aspects are the lion gate, the 100 pillar hall, the snack shops and kitchens, the chariot wheels and more. 

The scale and expanse of the temple campus reflect its status as one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus in India. The architectural grandeur signifies the temple's rich heritage and history.

PURI JAGANNTH TEMPLE PURI, ODISHA

Conclusion:

The Puri Jagannath Temple stands not only as a testament to architectural marvel but also as a repository of mystique and enigma. 

The secrets hidden within its sacred walls, from the mysterious Sudarshan Chakra to the clandestine inner sanctum rituals, add layers of intrigue to this ancient abode of divinity. 

As we unravel the veils of history and spirituality, the temple's secrets continue to captivate the imagination, inviting pilgrims and enthusiasts alike to delve deeper into its mysteries. 

With each visit, the seeker may uncover new facets of the temple's mysticism, perpetuating the allure and reverence that have surrounded this divine sanctuary for centuries.

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AJAY PATRA

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Ajay Kumar Patra is a highly experienced and accomplished accounts and taxation professional with over 27 years of experience in the industry. He is a Post graduate in Commerce (M. Com) from Sambalpur University with First Class and MBA-Finance with First Class from Jaipur National University....
He has worked with several large manufacturing units in India in various capacities. His last portfolio was (G.M) Finance & Accounts in large Steel Manufacturing Industry in Odisha. He Quit his job in the year May-2021.

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He is also a professional content writer and has published over 150 articles on business, finance, startups, e-commerce, and tourism. In 2021.All article you can see in the website www.odiyadigitalworld.com.
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In addition to his professional work, Ajay is also a passionate content writer. He has published over 150 articles on business, finance, startups, e-commerce, and tourism. His articles are well-researched and informative, and they have been read by millions of people around the world. Ajay is also a regular contributor to several leading publications. He always published his own article in his website www.odiyadigitalworld.com.
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Ajay Kumar Patra is a highly experienced and accomplished accounts and taxation professional with over 27 years of experience in the industry.