The Jagannath Temple was built way back in the 12th century at Puri
, one of the four holiest points of pilgrimage for Hindus. The main temple is a majestic structure of 65 meters standing on an elevated platform, epitomizing Kalinga architecture.
, a manifestation of Lord Krishna
and the symbol of universal love and brotherhood, along with Balabhadra,
, Sudarshan, Madhaba, Sridevi, and Bhudevi are worshipped in the temple. Around the area, there are the smaller temples of Goddess Vimla, Lakshmi
. Ananda Bazaar, the biggest food market in the country is also in the vicinity. At least 10,000 devotees are served Mahaprasad here everyday.
The annual ritual of
Rath Yatra (chariot festival), spreading over the entire summer and monsoon months, attracts pilgrims from all over India. During the Yatra, Lord Jagannath, his sister Subhadra and brother Balabhadra are transported through the Grand Road of Puri in traditionally decorated massive chariots that are pulled by thousands of devotees to the Gundicha Ghar 3 km away, where they sojourn for 7 days. The dieties are similarly brought back to the temple.