Puri Dhama Parikrama ⬲

The waves pounding on the beach, the refreshing sea breezes, the colossal hand-carved 12th century stone temple, the relaxed and happy ambience of the local folk, the bright red, yellow and blue cloth appliqué, and that bewitching pair of big smiling eyes looking out from every wall, every billboard, every poster, every calendar, every wedding invitation, every sticker, every button, every bead bag, every taxi and rickshaw, every windshield, every t-shirt, every shoulder bag - "This is Jagannatha Puri Dhama", one of India's most popular pilgrimage sites located in Orissa, 300 miles south of Kolkata and 60km from Bhubaneswar.
In Skanda-Purana (Utkala-khanda) it is mentioned that this most beautiful Sri Ksetra is spread over 10 yojanas (128km or 80 miles) and surrounded by sands. Utkala is another name of Orissa. Utkala is described in scriptures as the most holy place on this planet. Utkala is divided into four parts which represent the weapons of Lord Visnu. These four ksetras are known as Sankha-ksetra (Puri town), Padma-ksetra (Konark),Cakra-ksetra (Bhubaneswar) and Gada-ksetra (Jajapura, where the Viraja Devi temple is). Within this area of 10 yojanas, Puri is known as Sankha-ksetra because its shape resembles a conch shell. This Puri-ksetra covers an area of 5 krosa, 3 of which are immersed under the ocean, and 2 on land. This land is covered with golden sands and decorated with a blue mountain. The Lord Himself in His arca-vigraha form is residing here on the bank of the ocean atop the blue mountain. Sankha-ksetra spreads from east to west. Its head is towards west where Lokanatha Mahadeva resides.
Puri-dhama is known by different names: Purusottama-ksetra, Sri Ksetra, Nilacala-dhama, Jagannatha-dhama, Yamanika-tirtha, Martya Vaikuntha, Nilagiri, Sankha-ksetra, Dasa-avatara-ksetra and Nrsimha-ksetra. Glories of Sri Purusottama-ksetra Jagannatha Puri Dhama are mentioned in different Puranas:Skanda Purana, Brahma Purana, Vamadeva Samhita, Kapila Samhita, Padma Purana and Niladri Purana.
Relationship of Three-Dhamas: (teen dhama sambandha) - VRINDAVAN, NAVADVIPA-MAYAPUR and JAGANNATHA PURI
It is generally thought that,
Sri Ksetra Jagannatha Puri Dhama represents the Aisvarya (opulence, power & grandeur) of Dvaraka and Kurukshetra.
Sri Navadvipa-Mayapur Dhama represents Audarya (compassion).
Sri Vrindavan Dhama represents Madhurya (sweetness).
Jagannatha Puri and Navadvipa-Mayapur are two bhajana-sthalis for sadhaka cultivating Krishna-prema because they contribute two important ingredients.
Navadvipa-Mayapur Dhama gives the mercy of Sri Krishna's Holy Names and Gaura-Nitai kindly remove anarthas and aparadhas from the heart.
Jagannatha Puri embodies the mood of separation - awakening deep longing and yearning to be with Sri Krishna - which forcefully carries one into Krishna's association. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu displayed this mood in Jagannatha Puri. Through the door of Gauranga's Puri pastimes, one can enter the land of eternal enchantment, Sri Vrindavan Dhama.
After taking sannyasa, Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu made His headquarters in Jagannatha Puri at the request of His mother, Sri Sacidevi, and was based there for remaining 24 years of His manifest pastimes. However, Mahaprabhu's first visit was cut short because He immediately left for a South India yatra which lasted 2 years (1510-12).
Ages 24-30: All India Preaching
Gauranga Mahaprabhu continuously travelled to and from Jagannatha Puri. He toured South India, Vrindavan and Bengal distributing love of God by ecstatic dancing and chanting the Holy Names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare | Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare ||
He met all big religious teachers, debating with them and established Krishna-prema as the sublime goal of human life. He based His arguments based on Bhagavad-Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam and He firmly established His Hari-prema-Nama Sankirtana movement throughout the sub-continent. 
Ages 30-36: Puri Preaching
After travelling to and from Jagannatha Puri for 6 years, Gauranga Mahaprabhu fixed His residence at Jagannatha Puri for remaining 18 years of His life. Every year, the devotees visited Puri and stayed with Him for 4 months (catur-masya) enjoying Lord's company. Lord relished various pastimes including cleansing the Gundica Temple, Rathayatra, ecstatic kirtans in Jagannatha Temple, water sports in Narendra Sarovara and Deity festivals like Dola Yatra. He spent these 6 years mainly chanting Holy Names and dancing with His many devotees, thus inducing everyone to love Krishna by this simple process.
Through His personal behaviours, Lord instructed all living entities in the science of Bhakti. A person advanced in Krishna Consciousness always feels separation from Krishna. Lord Caitanya taught how, with a feeling of separation one can develop his dormant love of Krishna. These feelings develop in time when a person seriously engages in devotional service.
Ages 36-48: Gambhira & Internally relishing Krishna
For last 12 years of His life, Gauranga Mahaprabhu was continuously overwhelmed, night & day by separation from Krishna. Associating mainly with Svarupa Damodara Gosvami and Ramananda Raya, Mahaprabhu tasted the blissful divine songs and verses from Krishna Karnamrita, Gita Govinda, Srimad Bhagavatam and Jagannatha Vallabha Nataka. Mahaprabhu relished Sri Krishna's sweet beauty, fragrance and mellow as if He were touching Krishna hand to hand.
In the mood of Vraja-gopis, Sri Caitanyadeva was always experiencing the pastimes of Krishna in separation within His heart. When Krishna left the gopis and went to Mathura, they cried for Krishna the rest of their lives, torn by the pangs of separation from Him. Gopis' ecstatic feelings of separation were specifically advocated by Lord Caitanya through His actual demonstrations. Tossed by the waves of separation, Mahaprabhu appeared mad day and night. Sometimes He laughed, sometimes cried, sometimes danced, and sometimes He chanted in great sorrow. Mahaprabhu saw Jagannatha Swami with the same feelings of separation that Vraja-gopis experienced when they saw Krishna at Kurukshetra after long separation.
Lord Caitanya now taught everyone to taste the transcendental mellow ecstasy of Krishna-prema by tasting it Himself. Advanced devotees always feel separation from Krishna. Gauranga taught how, with a feeling of separation one can develop his dormant love Krishna. Such feelings develop in time when a person seriously engages in devotional service.
Places to visit:
1. Gambhira (the small room in which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu lived during His 18 years in Jagannatha Puri);
2. Sri Tota Gopinatha Mandira (most unique Krishna Deity in the world "sitting down");
3. Sri Siddha-Bakula (Bhajana Kutir of Namacarya Srila Haridas Thakura); 4. Gundica Temple (Rathayatra culminates here);
5. Lord Nrsimhadeva Temple (unique ancient Temple of Santa- Nrsimhadeva and Ugra-Nrsimhadeva); 6. Jagannatha Vallabha Garden (Lord Caitanya used to take rest here after Rathayatra);
7. Birthplace of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura; 8. Narandera Sarovara (Lord Jagannatha comes here for Nauka-vihar (boat-pastimes) during Chandan Yatra Mahostav);
9. Srila Haridasa Thakura Samadhi; 10. ISKCON Bhakti Kuti (Srila Bhakivinoda Thakuraspent his last 4 years here); 11. Cataka Parvata Sand Dunes;
12. Bhajana Kutir of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura; 13. "Mahodadhi" - A Great Ocean;
14. Satasana Bhajana Sthali; 15. Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya house (Lord Caitanya showed His Sadbhuja (six-armed) form here);
16. Sweta Ganga; 17. Indradyumna Sarovara; 18. Markandeya Sarovara; 19. Visakha Math; 20. Bali Math; 21. Mausi Maa Mandir;
22. Ahulya Math (home of Lord Nityananda and Sri Advaita Acarya at Jagannatha Puri); 23. Cakra Tirtha; 24. Bedi Hanuman Temple; 25. Atharnala bridge;
26. "SRI MANDIRA" - LORD JAGANNATHA TEMPLE (eternal abode of Lord Jagannatha)
"Gambhira", the small room in which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu lived during His 18 years in Jagannatha Puri. This is located on Svargadvara Road, the main street running by the Lion Gate toward the ocean. It is 5 mins walk to the Jagannatha Temple. Sign above the entrance gate reads, "Sri Sri Radha Kanta Math Gambhira". When Mahaprabhu came to Jagannatha Puri after taking sannyasa, He stayed at Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's House. But After he toured South India, on His return to Puri he then stayed at Kashi Mishra's House. Kashi Mishra was Rajguru of King Prataparudra, and King had gifted him a house with a large garden near the temple. King Prataparudra was a great Devotee of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; He suggested to Sarvabhauma that Mahaprabhu can stay in Kashi Mishra's house.
The word gambhira means deep, inscrutable, hidden or secret. Mahaprabhu stayed in Gambhira constantly for last 12 years of His manifest pastimes. During this time He was feeling intense separation from Krishna and was manifesting His viraha-bhava. Room is "deep" inside the house. When Mahaprabhu stayed here the room had mud walls and sunken floor, which has been raised in the course of time. By looking through a small barred window one can see a box holding the kamandalu (clay water pot), paduka (wooden shoes) and a quilt given to Him by Mother Saci. On marble throne there is a Deity of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wrapped with a  cloth so that only His beautiful face is visible. On wall above is a terracotta bas-relief of Gauranga Mahaprabhu flanked by Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya on His right and left. Govinda Dasa, personal servant of Mahaprabhu, stands below holding Mahaprabhu'skamandalu. There are dioramas upstairs depicting the pastimes of Sri Caitanyadeva.
Main Deities: Sri Sri Radha Kanta is worshipped in Kasi Mishra's house. King Prataparudra's father, Sri Purusottama Deva, conquered the king of kanchipura in battle and returned with three deities: Radha Kanta, Sakshi Gopala, and Bhada Ganesha. Bhada Ganesha is still worshipped in an inner courtyard just behind Jagannatha temple. It is said Radha Kanta was also worshipped inside the Jagannatha Mandir for some time. But in dream Lord Jagannatha informed the King Prataparudra to remove Radha Kanta deity Because He is taking all nice items from his bhoga plate and so king requested to his Gurudev Kashi Mishra to take theRadha Kanta to his house.
KAMANDALU (clay water pot), and a QUILT to Him by Mother Saci
Sri Tota Gopinatha is exquisitely beautiful Deity of Lord Sri Krishna. Tota Gopinatha is also a most unique Deity because He is the only Krishna Deity in the world "sitting down". Moreover, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu concluded His manifest pastimes here by entering the Gopinatha Deity.
Main Deities: Sri Tota Gopinatha graces the centre altar with Sri Radhika playing vina and Lalita sakhi playing flute on His left and right. Being deeply absorbed in syama-rasa - the mellow of satisfying all of Krishna's conjugal desires - Radhika and Lalita-sakhi appear black. Holding Her kacchapi-vina, Srimati Radharani curiously stands in a three-fold bending form dancing in time with Her beloved syamam tri-bhanga-lalitam. The left altar features Lord Balaram with Revati and Varuni on His left and right. On right altar are Deities of Gaura-Gadadhara and Sri Sri Radha Madana-mohana installed by Mamu Thakura. He is the nephew of Sri Nilambara Cakravati, Lord Gauranga's grandfather.
Sri Tota Gopinatha has such a charismatic bewitching quality that draws one to His darshana over and over again. Srila Vrindavana Thakura extols His power: "Even an extreme atheist will be changed upon seeing the Deity of Gopinatha."
At 7am during darshan time, upon request, the pujari can show a small golden streak on Gopinatha's right knee where Mahaprabhu entered the Lord.
Appearance of Tota Gopinatha:
Gopinatha temple is situated in an area named Yamesvara Tota. While residing here in this peaceful garden of trees and creepers, Gadadhara Pandita recited Srimad Bhagavatam every afternoon. Mahaprabhu attended regularly and heard recount the stories of Dhruva and Prahlada Maharaj 100 times.
One day here, Sri Caitanyadeva experienced immense separation from Krishna. Crying out, "Where us My Prananatha," Gauranga started digging the earth to search of His Lord. Feeling the carved stone mukuta of a murti below the ground, Gaurahari declared, "Gadai, I have found a most precious treasure here. Would you like to accept it?" Noticing the head of a murti emerging from the sand, Gadadhara helped Gauranga uncover a most beautiful Deity of Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. Mahaprabhu named the Deity, Gopinatha, and because He appeared in a garden (tota in Oriya) the devotees called Him, Tota Gopinatha. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu engaged Gadadhara Pandita in Gopinatha's service by awarding him ksetra-sannyasa.
Why Tota Gopinatha is sitting down?
The Deity of Sri Tota Gopinatha was previously in standing form and was being worshiped by Gadadhara Pandita. But after the departure of Mahaprabhu, Gadai (Gadadhara) felt devastated. His body got bent over from intense agony of separation from his beloved Gaura. Although he was only 47 years old, Gadadhara became lean and thin like an old man. Incapable of lifting his arms, Gadai could neither dress Tota Gopinatha nor offer Him candana and flower garlands. Gadadhara thought it best to engage another pujari in worshiping the Lord. In a dream that night, Sri Tota Gopinatha appeared and said, "Why do you want to engage another pujari in My seva? I only want you to serve Me."
Gadadhara replied, "O Prananatha! Due to my condition, I can no longer stand up and serve You properly." Lord Gopinatha said, "No, I insist that you alone serve Me. If you are finding difficulty, then from tomorrow I will become shorter." Next morning when Gadadhara entered the Deity room to serve Gopinatha, he saw an amazing sight. The most merciful Lord had sat down in order to receive service from his hands.
SRI SRI TOTA-GOPINATHA - Most Unique Krishna Deity in the world in "Sitting" posture.
Sri Tota Gopinatha graces the centre altar with Sri Radhika playing vina and Lalitasakhi playing flute on His left and right. Being deeply absorbed in syama-rasa - the mellow of satisfying all of Krishna's conjugal desires - Radhika and Lalita-sakhiappear black. Holding Her kacchapi-vina, Srimati Radharani curiously stands in a three-fold bending form dancing in time with Her beloved syamam tri-bhanga-lalitam.
Sri Tota Gopinatha has such a charismatic bewitching quality that draws one to His darshan over and over again. Srila Vrindavana Thakura extols His power: "Even an extreme atheist will be changed upon seeing the Deity of Gopinatha."
The left altar at Sri Tota Gopinatha Temple features Lord Balarama with Revati and Varuni on His left and right.
On right altar are Deities of Sri Sri Gaura-Gadadhara and Sri Sri Radha Madana-mohana installed by Mamu Thakura. He is the nephew of Sri Nilambara Cakravati, Lord Gauranga's grandfather.
Bhajana Kutir of Namacarya Srila Haridasa Thakura
Siddha Bakula is located near Gambhira Temple on Bali Sahi road. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally arranged for Srila Haridasa Thakura to reside at this place. This is the place where he performed his daily bhajana of chanting 192 rounds (3,00,000 names) of Hare Krishna maha-mantra:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare |
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare ||
Since Haridas could not enter the Jagannatha Temple, being of a Muslim family, Sri Caitanya requested Haridasa, "Remain here and chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. I shall personally come here to meet you daily. Remain here peacefully, and look at the cakra on top of Lord Jagannatha's temple and offer obeisances. As far as your Prasadam, I shall arrange to have that sent here." In order to provide shade for Thakur Haridasa, Sri Caitanya planted a used tooth stick of Lord Jagannatha. All of a sudden it grew up and appeared as a great shade tree. When Srila Rupa Goswami visited Jagannatha Puri, Mahaprabhu allocated him a residence here with Thakura Haridasa. Rupa Gosvami recited Lalitha Madhava and Vidagdha Madhava under this tree before Sri Gauranga and his followers. During his stay Sanatana Gosvami also lived here. Haridasa Thakur left his body here.
There is a small temple featuring a murti of namacarya Srila Haridas Thakura in a sitting pose chanting japa. The site has extraordinary bakula tree winding and climbing around the courtyard. Tree looks like it exploded or it appears like petrified wood; completely dead. Yet it is wonderfully flourishing with lush green leaves and fragrant flowers. In another temple altar is Sadbhuja Gauranga (six-armed Gauranga) in the middle and Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Acarya. There is also a Deity of Lord Nrsimhadeva.
the place where Srila Haridas Thakura performed his daily bhajana of chanting 192 rounds (3,00,000 names) of Hare Krishna maha-mantra:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare | Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare ||
Every year the Rathayatra culminates at this temple which is surrounded by lush gardens and tall cooling coconut trees. Fragrant flowers and shady trees create a Vrindavan atmosphere which Lord Jaganantha enjoys for 7 days before returning to Sri Mandira. This temple is located at the opposite end of main road about 3 km northeast of the Jagannatha Temple. The temple at Gundica is called Sundaracala and Jagannatha Temple is called Nilacala. During  Rathayatra festival, Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra along Sudarshan, leave Jagannatha Mandira for nine days: one day for travelling to Gundicha, Seven days spent there, and one day to return home. This Journey is known as to Gundica Yatra, Nava Dina Yatra ("nine days Journey"), or Ghosa Yatra. It is most auspicious to have darshana of Lord Jagannatha at this time.
Gundica Mandira is called the "birthplace" of Jagannatha Svami because here on a special platform called the mahavedi, a celestial carpenter carved the daru that manifested the Deities of Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra during the reign of King lndradyumna. It is said that the wife of lndradyumna, the king who originally established the temple of Jagannatha, was known as Gundica. The cleansing of the Gundica Temple - Gundica-marjana - takes place the day before the Rathayatra festival as mentioned in Caitanya-Caritamrita. Darshan of Jagannatha during His stay at Gundica temple is known as Adapa Darshana. It is said in scripture thatdarshan of the Lord Jagannatha at Gundica temple is equal to ten darshan at Nilachala Temple(main temple). This place is compared to Vrindavana.
GUNDICA TEMPLE - Rathayatra culminates at this temple
This is a very ancient temple, next to Gundica Temple. There are two Deities of Lord Nrsimhadeva, one behind the other. Santa Nrsimhadeva (peaceful) is in the front. Santa Nrsimhadeva has human-like features: a sharp nose, curvy moustache and an outstretched tongue. By seeing Santa Nrsimhadeva one will feel cool and relaxed; all anger, anxiety and frustration will vanish. Once a Muslim marauder named Kalapahad ransacked Puri and broke many Deities. Upon seeing Santa Nrsimhadeva, his anger subsided and he did not touch the Deity. Deity behind is Ugra Nrsimhadeva (ferocious) and may be seen with pujari's lamp.
This a very important place of pilgrimage because several wonderful pastimes enacted here, after the Rathayatra when Their Lordships Sri Sri Jagannatha-Baladeva-Subdhara relaxes in the Gundica Temple, Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu took rest here for 9 days.
Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu used to meet Sri Ramananda Raya who was His very dear and confidential associate. A great-devotee and King, King Prataparudra was delivered by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu here. Towards the later part of Mahaprabhu's life, when He was feeling intense separation from Lord Sri Krishna, He came to this garden on a full moon day during the month of Vaisakha, along with His associates. Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami has explained this pastime very nicely in Caitanya-Caritamrta Antya 19-76-100. The wonderful pastime of Mahaprabhu's Bhojan Lila (Mahaprabhu's honouring of Prasada) took place here. A great pandita Pradyuma Misra came here to learn to look beyond the material covering and he heard Bhagavata-Katha from Ramananda Raya,
This large garden, full of coconut trees and cooling pond, is very dear (vallabha) to Lord Jagannatha because it produces varieties of flowers and fruits for His service. Lord Jagannatha's utsava murti, festival Deity, come here on different auspicious functions and relish many spectacular festivities performed here. It is believed that this garden existed since the construction of Lord Jagannatha's Temple.
Immediately to the left entrance of the garden is Jagannatha Vallabha Matha, which is said to be established by the Sri Visnuswami Sampradaya. Inside the temple there are 3 altars. In one,Sri Radha Gopala murtis are worshipped. These Deities are extraordinarily beautiful. TheGopala murti has four hands: in two hands He holds sankha and cakra, and in other two His celebrated flute. Second altar has Deities of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in sannyasa dress sitting before Ramananda Raya. Third altar houses large Deities of Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subdhara and Sudarsana Cakra.
This temple is half km walk up the Grand Road towards Jagannatha Mandira. Garden has distinctive dark red boundary wall. Above main entrance gate there is a colourful diorama of Lord Visnu lying on Ananta Sesa.
Srila Ramananda Raya and Srila Svarupa Damodara were two most confidential associates of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Birthplace of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is located near to Jagannatha Vallabha Garden. Proceed towards the Jagannatha Mandira. Until on the right side the big pink Sri Caitanya Gaudiya Math temple with a sign above the entrance gate saying, "Birth Place of Prabhupada 108 Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Thakura". Present day temple is located on the former site of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's house, where he lived while acting as the Puri District Magistrate and Jagannatha Temple Administrator.
Main Deities: A gorgeous black Krishna and most attractive, charming golden Srimati Radharani named Sri Sri Radha-Nayana Mani Jiu grace the centre altar. The words nayana manimean, "Krishna-the jewel of Radha's lotus eyes". Sri Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra are also here. A murti of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is being worshiped in the far right altar. This is the exact spot where he appeared. It is said that while digging the earth during the temple construction, a sweet sandalwood smell emanated from the ground where Sarasvati Thakura took birth. While doing the Mandira parikrama, one will see the foursampradaya acaryas: Visnuswami, Madhvacarya, Nimbarka and Ramanuja, and beautiful diorama of various pastimes of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
This large tank is located north-east of Jagannatha's temple. This pond is also known as Sri Chandan Pukur, because Lord Jagannatha comes here every evening for 21 consecutive days during Chandan-yatra, from Aksaya-trtiya (in month of Vaisakha or April/May) up toSuklastami-tithi in the month of Jyestha (May/June) to enjoy His Nauka-Lila (boating pastime).
Jagannatha Swami's Chandan Yatra and Nauka-Lila: Before coming here, Lord Jagannatha's festive Deity (utsava murti) of Madan Mohana along with His consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi bathe in sandalwood water and are decorated with fragrant flowers. All the Deities travel here on 7 different palanquins. Madan-Mohana, Sri and Bhu-devis arrive in one palanquin; Sri Rama Govinda on a second palanquin; and 5 more palanquins transport thePanca Mahadevas (five Siva linga Deities): Lokanatha, Janesvara, Kapal-mocana, Markandesvara and Nilakanthesvara. Entire length of the procession route from Jagannatha Mandira to Narendra Sarovara is lined with white canopies strewn with forest leaves, flower and fruits. In Narendra-sarovara two nicely decorated boats are used for Chandana-yatra: one boatSri Madan-Mohana and other boat for Sri Rama Govinda and Panca-Sivas. While the Lords ride in Their boats around the pond, throngs of devotees line the banks chanting Harinam-Sankirtanand relishing most spectacular pastimes of the Lord. After a certain point all the Deities are brought to the temple in the middle of the pond and receive worship from the pujaris. After the festivities the Deities go back to their respective temples in their palanquins.
NARANDERA SAROVARA - Chandan Yatra Mahotsava
Srila Haridasa Thakura Samadhi is located on the oceanfront in the area of Svargadvara opposite to ISKCON Bhakti Kuti. At time of Mahaprabhu it was just sandy beach. Here Lord Caitanya put the body of Srila Haridasa Thakura into Samadhi with His own hands.
Towards the west of the Samadhi there are three alter where the deities of Lord Gauranga, Lord Nityananda and Sri Advaita Acarya are worshipped. After the disappearance of Srila Haridasa Thakura, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu would come daily after taking bath in the ocean, offer Prasada to Haridasa Thakura's Samadhi, and do Nama Bhajana for some time. Thus all the Deities are in sitting posture and doing Nama Bhajana. Srila Haridas Thakura was residing in his Bhajan kutir behind Gambhira, at the place known as Siddha Bakula. Haridas Thakura left his body in the presence of Mahaprabhu, who lifted Haridas Thakura in His arms and carried his transcendental body to the oceanfront in a Harinama procession. There his body was placed in the Samadhi.
Bhakti-Kuti is the name that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura gave to his bhajana kutrir, which was located beside the sea just opposite Haridasa Thakura's Samadhi. This the place where illustrious Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura spent his last 4 years on earth (1910-14) before entering Samadhi. In 1908, Thakura left household life and entered renounced order by acceptingbabaji-vesa from Srila Gaura-kisora Dasa Babaji Maharaj. In 1910, Thakura stayed inside theBhakti-kuti performing solitary bhajana. He absorbed himself in uninterrupted meditation uponasta-kaliya lila and rendering mental service to the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha-Madhava. Millions of years ago, the Sapta-rsis performed Hari-bhajana in this area.
When the Government declared that any Vaishnava Society can undertake it's responsibility, ISKCON took its responsibility and built a temple for the presiding deities Sri Sri Radha Giridhari & Caitanya Mahaprabhu. On the outside wall is a marble plaque with the following verse written in Bengali by Bhaktivinoda Thakur himself:
gaura-prabhoh prema-vilasa-bhumau
niskincano bhakti-vinoda-nama
ko'pi sthito bhakti-kutira-kosthe
smrtvanizam nama-gunam murareh
"In this land, Lord Gaura enjoyed His prema-filled pastimes. One desire less sadhu named Bhaktivinoda stays in a small room in his Bhakti-kuti, constantly remembering the name and qualities of His Lord Murari throughout the night."
All the hilly sand dunes in this area are known as Cataka Parvata where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu enjoyed ecstatic pastimes. One day while Mahaprabhu was going to bathe in the ocean He mistook the sand dune named Cataka-parvata to be Govardhana Hill and ran toward it while uttering verse from Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.18: "Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Krishna and Balarama, along with Their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities — water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respects to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Krishna and Balarama, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant."
Sri Caitanyadeva's personal servant Govinda followed but he failed to catch the Lord. Svarupa Damodara Goswami, Jagadananda Pandita, Gadadhara Pandita, Ramai, Nandai and Sankara Pandita roared tumultuously as they ran after Mahaprabhu. Bhagavan Acarya, who was lame, trudged along very slowly. Although Gauranga was running at the speed of wind, He suddenly became stunned in ecstasy (stamba-bhava) losing all power to move.
Within seconds, Sri Caitanyadeva manifested all asta-sattvika vikara, 8 transformations of divine ecstasy- stupor (stamba), perspiration (sveda), horripilation (romancha), choking of the voice (svara-bhanga), trembling (vepathu), changes in color (vaivarnya), profuse weeping (asru), and loss of external consciousness (pralaya). Gaura's transcendental body flushed with thrill bumps and His bodily hairs, standing on end (romancha), appeared like kadamba flowers. Blood and perspiration (sveda) flowed incessantly from every pore of Gauranga's body. He could not speak a word but simply produced a gargling sound within His throat (svara-bhanga). Unlimited tears poured from Mahaprabhu's eyes like Ganga and Yamuna flowing into the sea. Mahaprabhu's golden form turned white like a conch shell, and He trembled like the waves in sea and then collapsed on the ground. Upon seeing the divine rapture visible in Mahaprabhu's body, Svarupa Damodara Goswami and all the devotees became struck with wonder and cried. Devotees performed loud kirtana and wasked Gauranga's divine body with cold water. After listening for a long time, Mahaprabhu suddenly stood up and chanted, "Haribol!". Upon returning to half external consciousness, Mahaprabhu spoke: "Who has brought Me here from Govardhana Hill? I was seeing Sri Krishna's pastimes, but now I cannot see them. Today I went from here to Govardhana Hill to find out if Krishna was tending His cows there. I saw Sri Krishna climbing Govardhana Hill and playing His flute, surrounded on all sides by grazing cows. Hearing the vibration of Krishna's flute, Venunanda, Radha Thakurani and all Her gopi friends came there to meet Syama. They awere all very nicely dressed. When Krishna and Srimati Radhika entered a cave together, the other gopies asked Me to pick some flowers. Just the, all of you made a tumultuous sound and carried Me from there to this place. Why have you brought Me here, causing Me unnecessary pain? I had a chance to see Krishna's pastimes, but I could not see them". Saying this, Mahaprabhu wept and then so did the Vaishnavas upon seeing Gauranga's condition. [Caitanya Caritamrta Antya Lila 14.84-119]
Kutir is on top of the hill behind Purusottma Gaudiya Math, which stands on the hilly sand dune known as Cataka Parvata on the road leading to Tota Gopinatha temple. Main temple houses Deities of Sri Sri Gaura-Gadadhara and Radha-Vinoda Madhava Jiu. Inside the bhajana kutiraare Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's bed and personal effects. There is also a murti of Srila Vedavyasa and Madhvacarya. Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada once stayed here for a few days.
Sri Sri Gaura-Gadadhara and Sri Sri Radha-Vinoda Madhava Jiu
Like holy Ganga and Yamuna rivers, the ocean at Puri is a purifying sacred place of pilgrimage. Ocean here is not just a pilgrimage place; it is a maha-tirtha, a great pilgrimage site. DuringNama-acarya Srila Haridasa Thakura's samadhi ceremony, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bathed his transcendental body in the sea and declared, "From today onwards, this sea has become a great pilgrimage site, samudra ei maha-tirtha." Every day, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would bathe in the ocean and take darsana of the nila-cakra of Lord Jagannatha's temple, offering obeisances to it. He also instructed His devotees to follow His example and perform these practices.
On the road next to ISKCON Bhakti-kuti and Srila Haridas Thakura's samadhi one will find Sat Asana Mathas, which are actually only 4 temples honouring 7 sitting places (sat asana) established by the Sapta-rsis, who once did bhajana here. Sapta-rsis are 7 potent Brahmin sages amongst demigods who assist in universal affairs: Kasyapa, Atri, Vasistha, Visvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Bharadvaja.
One day during his samudra-snana (sea bath), King Indradyumna saw 7 exalted sages doing bhajana in a lonely place on the beach. When asked about their identity, they remained silent, absorbed in meditation. That night, Lord Jagannatha told King Indradyumna in a dream, "They are the universally famous Sapta-rsis. You must give them some land and daily send My maha-prasadam." Although the king offered land, the rsis refused saying, "We are detached sadhus only interested in bhajana. But if you desire, you may send Lord Jagannatha maha-prasadameveryday." In time, 7 mathas (temples) were established to honour the 7 sitting places of these exalted saints. Today however, only 4 temples remain.
When Lord Caitanya first came to Puri, He fainted in front of Deity of Lord Jagannatha and Sarvabhauma took Him to his home. Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya spoke to Lord Caitanya in his house about the impersonal doctrine for several days and finally Lord Caitanya defeated all his impersonal conclusions and bestowed His causeless mercy upon him by showing His Sadbhuja rupa, or six-armed form, a combined form of Lord Krishna, Lord Rama and Lord Caitanya. The house is located opposite to the Sveta Ganga tank. There is Radha Krishna Deities called Sri Sri Radha-Rasikaraja in this house worshipped by Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. There is a hidden tunnel in the house that is said to lead in two directions, one to the sea and another to the Jagannatha Temple. It is said that this tunnel was used by Sri Caitanya.
SAD-BHUJA GAURANGA (Six-armed Gauranga) -
A combined form of Lord Krishna, Lord Rama and Lord Caitanya.
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bestowed His causeless mercy upon Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya by showing His Sadbhuja rupa.
This large sacred bathing tank is located just opposite Ganga Mata Math. Puri residents say that Ganga-devi personally resides here in the form of Sweta Ganga so that she can regularly takedarsana and serve Jagannatha Swami. Being non-different from the Ganga, Sweta Ganga never becomes dry. Even if all the water is pumped out for some reason, it automatically refills. Remarkably, its water level rises or falls at the same rate as the Ganga river. Sweta Ganga is one of the Panca Mukti Tirthas of Sri Ksetra Dhama. After cremating the deceased, Puri residents bath here and perform the sraddha ceremony.
Sri Swetaganga is mentioned in the Mahabharata, where it is described as having been manifested from the nail of Lord Vishnu. The water is also said to flow directly from the Ganges, which flows into the bottom of the tank. Pilgrims coming to get darshan of Lord Jagannath often bathe first in the Sea (Mahodadi), then in Swetaganga and the other three tanks before visiting Their Lordships.
On the bank of Swetaganga Tank are two small temples, dedicated to Sweta Madhava and Matsya Madhava. Devotees come to these Visnu temples to perform sraddha ceremonies, and after the burning of bodies at the cremation ghat they come to Swetaganga for purifying bath.
There is an interesting passage about Swetaganga Tank and the Matsya Madhava shrine found in the biography of Sri Ganga Mata Goswamini (Sachi Devi):
    "According to the Utkala-khanda, there was a King Shveta in the Treta Yuga who was a devotee of Jagannath. He made arrangements for Jagannath's bhoga just as Indradyumna had done. One morning he came to the temple and saw the offerings which were made by the gods--thousands and thousands of wonderful gifts which were beyond the power of any mortal to present to the Lord. Shveta became disturbed at the insignificance of his own offerings and stood at the temple door, his head hung in shame. As he was meditating on his own insignificance, he had a vision in which he saw Lakshmi Devi herself taking his food offerings and feeding them to both sets of Jagannath deities [FN: Besides the main deities, there is a second set, known as the vijaya-vigraha.] who were eating them with great enthusiasm. The King immediately thought himself consummated by this vision and he continued to serve Jagannath with unflagging enthusiasm. Jagannath eventually granted him the boon of being liberated in a spot which faces Matsya Madhava, halfway between Akshaya Bata and the ocean, which was subsequently named Shveta Madhava in his honor. The tank excavated here was also named Shvetaganga. On the banks of this tank, deities of Shveta Madhava, Matsya Madhava and the nine planets are still worshiped.
    One night, the king of Orissa, Mukunda Deva, had a dream in which Jagannath Deva appeared to him and told him to give Sachi Devi a tract of land which bordered this Shveta-ganga. The next morning, the King joyfully came to see Sachi Devi and told her about the dream. Though she had no interest in increasing her worldly possessions, Sachi Devi decided to accept the King's gift for the sake of her guru-given mission to improve the condition of Sarvabhauma's house. Prior to that she had had to beg for the wherewithal to serve the deities. Wherever there is true devotion to the Lord, the trouble which one has to take to serve him is not seen as trouble, but rather as an opportunity and a source of joy."
Non-different from Ganges river. Sweta Ganga never becomes dry.
Even if all the water is pumped out for some reason, it automatically refills.
This water tank is half km from Gundica temple. Mahaprabhu took water from here to cleanse Gundica temple. There are 3 main temples here: Indradyumna Maharaja's temple on left side near tank, a large Saksi Gopala temple on right side and Nilakantesvara Mahadeva Siva temple mid way down the stairs leading to the sarovara.
Mother Cow creates a huge lake: Millions of years ago during Satya-yuga, King Indradyumna performed asvamedha-yajna (horse sacrifice) here. At that time he honoured the assembled Brahmins by donating 1000's of cows. While all those heavy cows were standing here, their hooves made a deep depression in the earth; creating a large lake. Lake became filled with water and cow urine. Since then it became a tirtha, a purifying place of pilgrimage.Skanda Purana says that this is the best of all tirthas. Chandana Yatra and Sitala-sthali festival are pompously celebrated here.
This large tank is located south-west of Jagannatha Mandira in Markandeshwar-sahi area. Great Vaishnava sage Markandeya Rsi resides here worshipping Siva Deity named Markandesvara Mahadeva. Sri Madana-mohana, Lord Jagannatha's utsava-murti, enacts His Kaliya-mardana-lila (crushing Kaliya serpent) in this holy tank. If one bathes in Markandeya Sarovara and then takes darshan of Markandesvara Mahadeva, he obtains the pious result of performing rajasuyaand asvamedha-yajnas.
This extremely small holy spot is only 5 mins from Markandeya Sarovara. Madhava Chandra Dasa worships the Deities in a make ship Deity room next to the original temple which is now severely rundown. It is said that Sri Narahari Sarakara Thakura, an eternal associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, installed and worshiped 5 feet tall, blissfully dancing neem wood Deities of Gaura-Gadadhara here. Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra and many salagrama-silas share the altar.
This is in Markandeshwar-sahi area behind Bada Oriya Math, 5 mins from Markandeya Sarovara. It is said that Srila Abhirama Thakura (Abhirama Gopala) who is Sridhama in Krishna-lila, established this classic temple, which now desperately needs renovation. Deities are Sri Sri Radha-Krishna, Sri Sri Radha Madana-Mohana vijaya-vigraha, Patita-pavana Jagannatha Deva, many salagrama-silas and a murti named Abhirama Gopala.
Deities worshipped by Abhirama Thakura
In Orissa "Mausi Ma" means aunty. Temple is situated almost the mid-way of the Grand road, a small temple of the Goddess Ardhasini otherwise called as Mausima of Lord Jagannatha. She ismaha-saktis who also help protect Puri Dhama. According to local stories, once Lakshmi Devileft Sri Mandira, and thus Jagannatha and Baladeva becomes poor. They had nothing to eat for a long period of time and so they had to go out begging. When Jagannatha and Baladeva were out during that time, Subhadra Devi was forced to stay here at Mausi Ma, or aunty's house. During return of Rathayatra all chariots stop here at Mausi Ma Mandira and the Deities are offered Poda Pitha, a kind of cake.
This important place is the Puri home of Lord Nityananda and Sri Advaita Acarya. It is difficult to locate this place because this is in a private home and very unfortunately the owners have removed sign-boards for this very important place. It on the other side of Grand Road, 5mins walk from Gaudiya Math temple. Coming from Gaudiya Math, go down Heragohiri-sahi road toward Daitaparha-sahi area. Go past Jaduani library and Temple passing police station. On the chowk (intersection), just opposite to chemist shop, a private home with green color small entrance door is the spot. Present day, unfortunately, this very important spot is in a very deprecated and neglected state.
Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu stands in the centre flanked by Sri Advaita Acarya and Srimati Sita Thakurani (the eternal wife of Sri Advaita Acarya) on His left, and Sri Nityananda Prabhu on His right. Small Deities of Jagannatha, Radha-Krishna and salagrama are also on the altar.
It is located on Cakra Tirtha road at the beach on the east side of Puri, 3km from Jagannatha Mandira. Temple is a small white building with a red stripe, off Cakra Tirtha road, behind Z hotel down the beach near the ocean. There are 3 Deities: Nrsimhadeva, Cakra Narayana and Adi Narayana. A brown stone shaped like cakra is worshiped here as Cakra Narayana. Nearby is a small temple of Jagannatha's father-in-law, Varuna-deva, the father of Laksmi-devi. Inside here are Deities of Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra and Garuda holding Visnu.
This small temple with red-granite roof is on Cakra Tirtha road, across the street from Z hotel, 2 mins from Cakra Tirtha temple. This temple is dedicated to a tall black stone Deity of Hanuman, now covered in red sindhur, who serves Lord Jagannatha by protecting the holy dhama. Word bedi means chain.
Puffed Rice Can't Match Ladoos: Puri residents of yore complained to Lord Jagannatha that cyclone whipped sea often washed away the town. Lord Jagannatha posted Hanuman here to protect Puri and prevent future inundations. The faithful were daily offering some puffed rice and jaggery to Hanuman but he longed for laddoos. One day Hanuman leaped to Ayodhya to see his beloved Lord Rama and received some delicious laddoo maha-prasadam. Angry seas took advantage of Hanuman's absence and once again flooded the town of Puri. When Hanuman returned, Lord Jagannatha promised to daily give him laddoos. But just to make sure that this mischievous monkey would not leap away again, Lord Jagannatha bound Hanuman's leg with a heavy steel ball and chain. Henceforth, Hanumanji was called Bedi Hanuman.
This is 6 km from Jagannatha Mandira at the entrance of Jagannatha Puri Dhama on the main road to Bhubaneswar. There is a small pink domed temple with green doors beside Atharanala road, marking the place where Mahaprabhu rested before crossing Atharanala Bridge. Inside there is a marble plaque enshrining the lotus footprints of Gauranga Mahaprabhu (mahaprabhu pada-pitha).
Eternal abode of Their Lordships Sri Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra
Jagannathah swami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me
"O Lord of the universe, kindly be visible unto me."
Jagannatha means "Lord of the Universe". Jagannatha Swami is a unique Deity form of Lord Sri Krishna, who has especially appeared in Kali-yuga to deliver the most fallen souls. Merciful Lord Jagannatha accepts worship from one and all. Padma Purana states:
Samudrasyottare tire, aste sri-purusottame
Purnananda-mayam brahma, daru-vyaja-sarira-bhrt
"At Sri Purusottama [Jagannatha Puri], on the northern shore of the ocean, resides the Supreme Absolute Truth. Full of ecstatic bliss, He has assumed a transcendental body that appears wooden."
Jagannatha Svami is called daru-brahman because He is the Absolute Truth in wood (daru), and because He destroys (daranat) the miseries of material existence. Daru Brahman means the Deity form of God, the Supreme Brahman, Parabrahman. It means the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna who cuts away all sufferings and miserable material attachments, and then rewards one an eternal life of endless bliss in the spiritual world; He is Lord Jagannatha or Daru Brahman.
Being absolute, Lord Jagannatha is identical in person, form, picture, kirtana and all other circumstances. If one thinks that the form of Lord Jagannatha is an idol made of wood, he immediately brings ill fortune into his life. Lord Jagannatha is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, just as the body of Krishna is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha. A pure devotee who knows the science of Krishna Consciousness makes no distinction between Lord Jagannatha and His body. Lord Jagannatha is identical with Sri Krishna (Krsnera 'atma-svarupa). But in Jagannatha Puri, He appears as daru-brahma, a non-moving entity (sthavara-svarupa). Thus Lord Jagannatha and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, although appearing as two, are one because They are both Krishna, who is one alone. The supreme desire to deliver the entire world meets in both Mahaprabhu and Jagannatha, and for that reason also They are one and the same. To deliver all the materially contaminated people of the world, that same Krishna has descended in the moving form (jangama rupa) of Gaura. (Caitanya Caritamrta Antya Lila 5.148-151)
Beauty of Jagannatha Svami: Lord Jagannatha has extraordinary form. Pilgrims in Puri often ask, "Why does the Deity of Jagannatha Deva have such an unusual form?" Answer is simple: God wants to appear like this, in this most unusual form, to establish religion in this most unusual age of Kali. Vamadeva Samhita and Skanda Purana state that Lord Sri Krishna appears in this covered wooden form out of His independent will and due to prayer of Brahma Ji. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very thirsty to see the Deity of Lord Jagannatha. Gauranga's eyes became like two bumblebees drinking the honey from the lotus-like eyes of Lord Jagannatha who is Krishna Himself.
The eyes of Lord Jagannatha conquer the beauty of blossoming lotus flowers and His neck defeats the luster of a mirror made of blue sapphires.
The chin of Jagannatha Svami, tinged with a buff color conquers the beauty of bandhuli flower. This increases the beauty of Jagannatha's mild smiling, which is like lustrous waves of nectar.
Luster of Jagannatha Deva's beautiful face increases at every moment, and the eyes of 100's and 1000's of devotees drink its honey like bumblebees.
Feeling such great pleasure upon seeing the face of Lord Jagannatha, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu forgot everything. (Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila 12.210-19)
Temple Architecture:
Main temple of Jagannatha Svami soars 214 feet high. Temple complex comprises an area of 10.7 acres and is enclosed by 2 rectangular walls. Outer enclosure is called Meghananda Prachira (665 x 640 feet). Walls are 6 meters high. Inner wall is called Kurmabedha (420 x 315 ft). This ancient temple combines two styles: South Indian (Dravidian) and North Indian (Nagara). King Anangabhima Deva completed the temple in 1200 AD. Within the boundary walls of the Jagannatha temple there are 30 different temples. Outer wall has opening in four directions. East and main gate, Lion Gate (Simha-dvara) has two crouching stone lions. South gate, Horse Gtae (Aswa-dvara) has a pair of galloping horses carrying Jagannatha and Baladeva on backs with all Their martial glory. West gate, Tiger Gate (Vyaghra-dvara) has two stone tigers, and north gate, Elephant Gate (Hasti-dvara) has a huge stone elephant.
Cakra & Flags: The cakra (Sudarsana disc) above Lord Jaganantha's temple is called "Nila-Cakra" (blue wheel). Nila-cakra is made of an alloy of 8 different metals. It is 11 feet 8inch high and has circumference of 36 feet. On every Ekadasi a lamp is lit near the wheel. Daily around 6:30pm, the Garuda Sevaka (a pujari flag bearer) fearlessly climbs up 214 feet to the Nila-cakra and fastens a number of flags to the mast fixed to Nila-cakra. Flags, which are bright red, white or bright yellow in color, are embroidered with a crescent moon and a sun in the middle, signifying that Lord Jagannatha is our ever-watchful, loving guardian both in the day and night. It alsom means that Lord Jagannatha rules the universe wherever the sun and moon shine. Nila-cakra sevaits, begin this hereditary service from age of 8, get the ability to perform this very difficult service by the mercy of Garuda, whose name they chant while scaling theshikara.
In front of main gate is a pillar 11m high called Aruna Stambha. On top of this single-stone pillar is Aruna, the charioteer of the sun god. In passage room of main gate is a Deity of Lord Jagannatha called Patita Pavana (saviour of the most fallen). It is visible from the road. One can stand behind Aruna Stambha and respectively gaze at the Nila-Cakra, flags billowing atop Jagannatha's temple and Patita Pavana Jagannatha in front, and then offer humble obeisances. Seeing Nila-Cakra, flags and Patita Pavana Jagannatha is equal to direct darshana of Lord Jagannatha in the temple. (Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila 11.195 purport)
Transcendental ambience within sacred space of the Supreme Lord Jagannatha:
While approaching innermost sanctuary (Garbha Grha) of the Jagannatha Temple through the various halls and past many pillars and carved panels, a devotee is subtly influenced by sacredness of the architecture. He finds himself enclosed with the Supreme Lord in a dim, soothing atmosphere. His eyes find rest after fierce light of the day outside. Not only is lighting dim, but the air is filled with scent of flowers, burning oil lamps and incense coming from the sanctuary. Gradually his mood calms and his spiritual feelings are awakened as he approaches the Deities.
Garuda-stambha: Garuda-stambha (pillar) stands along east back wall of the Jagamohana. It supports murti of Lord Narayana's eagle carrier Garuda, who is admiring the Deity of Jagannatha Deva from this vintage point. Devotees regularly hug this pillar and offer prayers while seeing Lord Jagannatha. By doing this they feel blessings of Lord's direct embrace. Gauranga Mahaprabhu used to stand here and offer obeisances and prayers while reeling in ecstatic bliss gazing upon saksat Vrajendranandana Jagannatha Svami. Mahaprabhu's divine finger prints are imprinted on the wall behind the Garuda-stambha. Srila Krishna dasa Kavriraj Goswami describes:
"Staying near the Garuda-stambha, Gaura-raya gazed upon the Lord Jagannatha. What can be said about the strength of that love? On the ground beneath the column of the Garuda-stambha was a deep ditch, which filled with the water of Gauranga's tears." (Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila 2.54)
Kitchen & Maha-Prasadam of Lord Jagannatha:
Temple has largest kitchen in the world and feeds thousands of devotees every day. Kitchen can prepare prasadam for 100,000 people one day, and 250,000 is normal on a festival day.
 Kitchen has astounding 752 wood-burning stoves, each 3'x4' spread over one acre in the south east corner, far left inside the Lion Gate.
600 cooks and 1,000 devotees work daily in the kitchen.
Chillies, onion, garlic, carrots and widely available "new-world" ingredients such as cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflowers are not used in any preparation. Wide variety of locally available organic produce such as beans, tubers, squashes, melons, leafy greens, local spices like mace, cumin, fennel, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, mustard seed and black cumin is used.ithout electricity or machines, skilled chefs work under oil lamps over open wood fires. Every day they prepare more than a 100 different dishes and offer them to the Deities. Given only 1 day notice the chefs can prepare a full meal for up to 10,000 guests at a sitting.      
 Every day, a fire sacrifice is performed in the temple kitchen. Afterwards, the cooks take embers from that sacrificial fire to ignite their individual stoves.
All bhoga is cooked in earthen pots. Nine clay pots full of bhoga are cooked simultaneously upon one oven with 9 burners. Every pot of bhoga is placed before Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra, unlike most temples in India where only small portions of the entire meal are offered before the Deities.
 Everyday Lord Jagannatha is offered 56 items (chappana bhoga) for His pleasure: 9 rice preparations, 14 subjis & curries, 9 milk preparations, 11 sweets, 13 cakes, pancakes and patties.
Jagannatha Temple kitchens are exemplary in many ways. Three things are of special significance: Preservation of ancient cooking standards, Training program for temple priests and Highly efficient system for distribution of temple prasadam.
Ananda Bazaar: Near the northeast corner, after climbing 22 stairs from Lion Gate on right side is where one can get Jagannatha maha-prasadam and experience the bliss (ananda) of tasting Lord's unprecedented mercy remnants. There are 36 traditional communities (chatisha niyaga) who render a specific hereditary service to the Deities. Temple has as many as 6000 priests.
Deity Dresses (vesa) of Lord Jagannatha:
Lord Jagannatha is regularly dressed in silk or cotton outfits enhanced with lots of pretty flowers, tulasi garlands and manjaris. Only sweet smelling flowers of white, yellow, gold, orange and pink colors are offered to Jagannatha Svami. Jasmines, marigolds and pink and white lotuses are Jagannatha's favourites. Some devotees adore Jagannatha Svami as Sri Krishna, the majestic, opulent Lord of Dvaraka. Others see Him as Vrajendranandana, the simple, carefree cowherd of Vraja. This combination of simplicity and grandeur is prominently visible in the varieties of Lord Jagannatha's outfits.
Nava-kalevara-yatra (or ritual of transformation):
Since the Deities are made from wood, each 12 years Nava-kalevara-yatra (or ritual of transformation) is held. After elaborate preliminary preparations, the right trees are found, Deities carved, transformation made and old Deities buried in the ground. Though as much as half million people attend the festival, most of the procedures are conducted in secret and no other than few appointed priests and servants can be present. First of all the special trees with the symbolic marks of chakra, conch shell, mace and lotus have to be found. The search party consists of exact numbers of man belonging to specific families and casts. After several stops they will reach village Kakatpur 80 km from Puri. The oldest member of Dayitapati family has to sleep in the temple of Goddess Vimala or Mangala, meaning "Auspicious One". He must have a dream during this stay in which goddess 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 (the fourth Deity is Sudarsan). When the search party locates the places, they may find many trees, but the sacred symbols will be found on only one of them. The Siva's temple and pond has to be nearby. Very rare types of trees must be growing beside: The Varuna tree, which can protect you from snakes. It is said that this tree has the power to destroy all anger and pride. People today often carry a piece of Varuna bark with them if they must meet a bothersome person. The Sahada tree, which gives the power to forget oneself. The Vilua tree, which has the power to cure any disease, even heart disease, cancer and leprosy The cure is obtained by chewing its leaves. All three trees are very rare, whereas the Neem tree is very common. When the trees are found, they must construct a small hut nearby in which they will now reside. A great fire sacrifice is performed there to invite all demigods to give their blessings and cutting of the tree can start. First only the golden axe can touch the tree, then silver and after that iron axe can finish the work. 108 names of the Lord are chanted continuously. Neem wood will not decay for more than thirty years and it is one of the longest-lasting types of wood in India. Since "Neem" is called "daru" Jagannatha Deity is also called "daru-brahman". Only members of the Dayitapati family have the right of carrying the huge log back to Puri and the descendant of the original carver can carve the Deity. Only few precisely designated servants can participate in the rites of transformation. Old Deities are placed in front of the new ones and three oldest members of Dayitapati family transfer "Daru-brahman" to the new Deities Not even the head priest can be there during this time. Nava-kalevara-yatra is actually this transformation ceremony during which all present have very intense experiences as they blindfolded transfer "life force" to the new Deities. Old Deities are buried in a place known as Koili Vaikuntha. Koili means "burial ground" and Vaikuntha means "Heaven".
Non-Hindus tread the Humble Path: Although many western born convert to Hindu thought and Gaudiya Vaishnavism in particular visit Puri, they cannot enter temple to see Lord Jagannatha because temple law forbids entrance of "non-Hindus". Srila Prabhupada speaks sympathetically, "We should not feel sorry about this, as long as we engage in chanting Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Krishna Himself associates with with devotees who are chanting His holy name, and there is no need to be unhappy over not being able to enter a certain temple. Such dogmatic prohibitions were not approved by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Those who were thought unfit to enter Jagannatha temple, Srila Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, Haridasa Thakura, were daily visited by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and this indicates that Mahaprabhu did not approve of the prohibitions. To avoid unnecessary turmoil, however, these great personalities did not enter the Jagannatha temple." (Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila 1.63)
Out of His infinite compassion, Jagannatha shows Himself in 3 wonderful forms:
§  Patita Pavana Jagannatha, Nila-Cakra & flags: Everyday Lord Jagannatha sits just inside Lion Gate as Patita Pavana Jagannatha smiling and glancing lovingly toward anyone who peeks in from the street, and also gaze at Nila-Cakra & flags atop Jagannatha's Temple. Seeing Nila-Cakra, flags and Patita Pavana
§  Jagannatha is equal to direct darshana of Lord Jagannatha in the temple. (Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila 11.195 purport)
§  Jagannatha maha-prasadam: He arrears in His most relishable form as Jagannatha maha-prasadam for everyone to see by tasting. In the form of maha-prasadam He reciprocates very intimately with all His worshipers.
§  Snana-yatra, Rathayatra & Ulta-Rathayatra: Their Lordships Sri Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra come out in full public three times a year - Snana-yatra, Rathayatra & Ulta-Rathayatra. At these times everyone can directly see their benevolent Lord, worship and pray to Him, pull Jagannatha's chariot and relish His beautiful darshana to their heart's content.
In addition, Sri Murari Gupta, an eternal associate of Lord Gauranga as confirmed in Sri Krishna Caitanya Carita Maha-kavya 3.4.39: "Whatever benefit is achieved by having direct darshan of Lord Jagannatha, the master of Purusottama Ksetra, one can obtain simply by regularly reciting the pastimes of Gaurahari."
Eternal abode of Their Lordships Sri Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra
In passage room of main gate is a Deity of Lord Jagannatha called Patita Pavana (saviour of the most fallen). It is visible from the road. One can stand behind Aruna Stambha and respectively gaze at the Nila-Cakra, flags billowing atop Jagannatha's temple and Patita Pavana Jagannatha in front, and then offer humble obeisances. Seeing Nila-Cakra, flags and Patita Pavana Jagannatha is equal to direct darshana of Lord Jagannatha in the temple. (Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila 11.195 purport)
Phandi Ceremony of Lord Balabhadra (also known as Bada Thakur), the elder brother of Lord Jagannatha, during the l Rathayatra.
Lord Balarama (Balabhadra) coming out of Sri Mandira. Phandi is the ceremony of Deities coming out of the Temple to the Rathayatra Chariot. Lord Balabhadra is bulkiest of the three.
Floral crown is known as 'Tahia' is prepared by Raghava Math and is brought to the Temple early in the morning. Elaborate flowers are beautifully decorated on a bamboo frame. Flowers are lotus flowers, champaka, malati flowers and Tulsi leaves. These decorations have been going on since ages in a very traditional manner. Totally 16 Tahia's are worn. Two large Tahia's when Lord comes out of the Sri Mandira, Two large Tahia's when Lord enters Gundica Mandira. Two small Tahia's when coming out of Gundica Mandira during the return-tourney and Two small Tahia's before entering the Sri Mandira. Lord Balaram is fanned by chamara called 'arota chamara'. The head is covered with red cotton cloth.
There is blank color umbrella in front. For Lord Balabhadra umbrella is black color, for Lord Jagannatha it is white color and for Subdhara Devi it is red & black color.
Phandi Ceremony of Sister Subhadra Devi
Phandi Ceremony of Lord Jagannatha
Places to visit near Jagannatha Puri:
#1) SAKSI GOPALA: This is 20km west of Jagannatha Puri in a town called Saksi-Gopala. It is easily reachable by taxi, bus or train. Vrajranabha (Sri Krishna's great-grandson) installed two Gopala Deities in Vraja Mandala: Saksi-Gopala and Madna Gopala (Madana Mohana). The Saksi-Gopala Deity here, being 5000 years old, is exceptionally special one.
#Pastime: Lord Testifies for His Devotee
Once two brahmins, a young and old one, left their homes in Vidyanagara, South India, and visited many holy places before coming to Vrindavana. Satisfied with the service of the youngbrahmin and feeling grateful, the old one promised him before the Gopala Deity of Vrindavana to offer his youngest daughter in marriage. Hence, Gopalji acted as a witness. When the twobrahmins returned to Vidyanagara, the old brahmin, due to family constraints, reneged on his promise; flatly denying that he had ever made such a promise. The younger brahmin, upset and dejected, returned to Vrindavana and told everything to the Gopala Deity. Out of love for His devotee (bhakta-vatsala), Gopalji, followed the young brahmin to Vidyanagara in South India to act as witness (saksi). All the way, that fortunate brahmin heard the joyful, tinkling sound of Gopalji's ankle bells. In Vidyanagara, all the senior brahmins listened as Gopalji testified to the promise of the elderly brahmin. Thus the marriage was rightfully performed.
Full story: Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila Chapter 5.
#2) DANDA-BHANGA: This sacred place is where Lord Nityananda Prabhu broke Gauranga'ssannyasa danda in three pieces. When Sriman Mahaprabhu went alone to visit the temple of Lord Siva known as Kapatesvara Mahadev, Lord Nityananda, taking advantage of the absence of Mahaprabhu, broke His danda (staff) into three pieces and threw it into the sacred waters of river Kancha (the tributary of river Bhargavi).
danda-bhanga-lila ei parama gambhira sei bujhe
dunhara pade yanra bhakti dhira    (Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta, Madhya Lila, 5, 158)
The devotees could not understand why Nityananda Prabhu broke the staff, why Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu permitted him to do so, or why, after permitting Him, Caitanya Mahaprabhu became angry. This Dandabhanga pastime, of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda Prabhu, is supremely deep, supremely grave and supremely hidden. Only to him, who is unflinchingly surrendered and soberly fixed at the Divine Lotus Feet of the two Lords, in his heart of hearts, can the immeasurable glories of this great eternal pastime be revealed.
Danda Bhanga is located in the village of Candanpur on main road to Bhubanesvara, 10km, from Sri Jagannatha Puri Dhama. After the occurrence of this wonderful pastime, the river subsequently came to known as river Dandabhanga, meaning breaking of the staff.
Danda Bhanga pastime: Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Madhya Lila Chapter 5, text 140 to 158
#3) ALALANATHA VISNU Temple: Lord Alalanatha is an ancient four-handed Visnu Deity installed by one of the Alvars. This temple is 1 hour taxi ride from Jagannatha Puri.
#4) ISKCON Bhubaneswar: ISKCON Bhubaneswar was the last founded project of Srila Prabhupada's worldwide established temples and the 108th temple of ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada stayed here continuously for 17 days in a humble cottage in Jan-Feb 1977. His Divine Grace finished the English translation of 9th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam and started 10th Canto Srimad Bhagavatam translation here. Bhubaneswar is only 2 hours from Puri.
#5) GOPAL JIU, Gadaigiri: Gadaigiri is a small village situated in the Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa, about 2 hours from Bhubaneswar. Gadaigiri houses exceptional Deity of Gopal Jiu which came from Vrindavan. ISKCON has guesthouse facility at Gadaigiri.

#6) CHOTI, Kendrapara, Orissa: Choti is famous for as the home of ancestral Deities of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Sri Sri Radha-Madhava. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote hundreds of songs glorifying the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. His songs capture the essence of Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy. One song, "Jaya Radha-Madhava", was a favorite of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who would sing it every day just before his public lectures. This song paints a beautiful picture of the Vrindavana pastimes of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's beloved Lordships Sri Sri Radha-Madhava. Further details on Choti are avaialble in book: "Choti: The Native Place of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura" by Gopal Jiu publications.
#7) REMUNA (Gupta Vrindavana): Famous temple of Ksira-cora Gopinatha, the Krishna Deity who stole condensed milk (ksira) for His dear-most devotee, Sr Madhavendra Puri, lies in a small pastoral village named Remuna in the Balasore (Baleshwar) district of Orissa. Balasore is halfway between Puri and Kolkata, is the nearest railway junction to Remuna. Remuna is called Gupta Vrindavana because Gopinatha had many pastimes here in the mood of Vrindavana with His intimate vraja-madhurya premi bhaktas.
Between 5am-7am visitors can have full darshana of the Deity while the pujari baths and dresses Gopinatha. One can clearly see cows, cowherd boys and asta-sakhis carved in black stone bas-relief Deity of Ksira-cora Gopinatha. On Gopinatha's right & left are black stone Deities of Govinda and Madana-Mohana brought. There are also Deities of Radha-Rasabihari, Lord Jagannatha and Mahaprabhu. All Vaishnavas are welcome here for Gopinatha's specialdarshana, and the indescribably mouth-watering milk sweet known as amrta-keli, prepared from condensed milk, cream, sugar and a smidgen of raisins.
How Sri Gopinatha became Ksira-cora Gopinatha?
This very wonderful pastime is described in Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila 4.21
#8) NILA-MADHAVA: This is a small village in the interior hilly region of Orissa state, about 6-7 hours from Jagannatha Puri. Very nice pastime about Nila-Madhava took place here. Local devotees at ISKCON Puri temple can tell more on this.
#9) VARAHA-KSETRA, Jajpur: In Satya-yuga Lord Varaha dev appeared here who killed demon Hiranyakhya. In other kalpas also different Varahadev appears here, and because of that this is called Varaha Ksetra. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu stayed here for a day or two and offered worship to Lord Varaha on his way to Puri in the first decade of 16th century. Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya's Lotus foot print by the melting of stone at varaha kshetra inside Varaha temple. Jajpur is very close to Kapilesvara, the birthplace of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's grandfather. It is the place from where His grandfather's family had moved to Bengal. This is one of the four most holy places (Char Dhams) in the religious tradition of Vaishnavism located in Orissa. According to the tradition, Lord Vishnu after killing the demon Gayasura (at Gaya city of Modern Bihar), to commemorate the glory of His victory, placed his Sankha (Conch) in Puri, Chakra (Disc) in Bhubaneswar, Gada (Mace) in Jajpur and Padma (Lotus) in Konark and they were later known as Sankha Ksetra, Chakra Ksetra, Gada Ksetra and Padma Ksetra respectively in spiritual and religious tradition.

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