Sri Jagannatha temple at Puri in Orissa state is one of the Char Dhams, the sacred four pilgrim place of Hindu religion. This temple is known as Bada Deula or Sri Mandir where along with Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balavadra are worshiped. This temple is located at the one end of the Grand road known as Bada Danda, whereas at the other end of Grand road of length nearly two & half KM long is Gundicha temple. Lord Jagannath along with Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra visit this Gundicha ghar during the famous Car festival or chariot festival locally known as Ratha Yatra.
Jagannath temple opens early morning and remains open till midnight. During the day usually in the afternoon time during the Pujas ( Bhogas ) the door of Lord Jagannatha remains close for one or two hours. Chamar Seba - during winter time for a month Darshan will be closed for two hours during noon time.
There is no fee to enter into the temple complex for a normal Darshan from Garuda pillar. However fees varies from Rs 5 to Rs 25 at different times when devotees can go close to the statues. In normal days there is no queue for Darshan ( or visit ) but on special occasions elaborate arrangement is done to handle the extra rush and entry is allowed from main entrance ( no exit ) and exit is controlled from north gate of the temple.
Cameras, Mobile phones, electronic items and leather items are not allowed inside the temple complex. Right from the beginning (years back ) photography is strictly prohibited inside the temple. Never try to carry any such items inside the temple, they will be sized by temple authority.
Inside the temple complex there are two outer rings of small temples and main temple is at the center. At the outer ring at the main entrance there are steps known as baesi pahacha or twenty two steps. Some says this name has come from the term outside steps ( Bahya Pavacha). However these steps are considered to be very sacred and religious functions are performed at this place. There is ticket system to visit the kitchen where Prasad for Puja is prepared in a different way.
Four gates of the temple
Main gate east gate or Singh Dwar ( Lion's Gate )
This is the main entrance to the temple. Located at the end of the Bada Danda or Grand Trunk road this gate is known as Lions Gate or Singha Dwar. At the entrance there is a Pillar known as Aruna Khamba. There is a statue of Jaganatha known as Lord Patitapabana kept at this gate and from here those who can't enter into the temple will have Darshan or glimpse of Lord Patitapabana. Please note that only Hindus are allowed to enter inside the Lord Jaganatha temple. This is the place where Lord Jaganaths Car festival starts.
All facilities like shoe stand, drinking water point, Puja materials, offerings, prasadas are available here. Prepaid Auto stands is available towards the left side of the entrance. Tonsure is not a must here but the facilities are available at the main gate.
There are three other gates beside the main gate or eastern gate. Each gate is identified based on the four directions of universe. The gates are
Main Gate the Singh Dwar or Lion Gate ( Eastern gate ) Dharma Dwar
Dakshina Dwar ( south gate or Horse gate ), Kudia Hanuman temple is there ( Kamana Gate )
Paschim Dwar ( west gate or tiger gate ) , Artha Dwar ( Money gate)
Uttar Dwar ( North gate, elephant gate ), Mokya Dyar, less ( closes at 5.30 PM )
The Prasad or offerings of Lord Jagannath is sold at a place known as Ananda Bazar. It is believed that all the time 24 hours Prasad is available for all devotees. Daily Bhoga ( offering ) is available since afternoon. During Dec & Jan time morning Bhoga ( Pahili Bhoga) is available.
Maintaining the tradition today also the food is prepared in earthen pots. These pots are used even for selling and for eating inside the temple complex.
These are traditional dishes with Rice and Dal as main food available here as Prasad.
Jain Food at Puri
Near temple there are many vegetarian restaurants are available and some of them don't use onion & garlic. Just enquire at the restaurant about the ingredients and how food is prepared.
Accommodation at Puri
There are Dharma Shalas where accommodation is available free of cost or for a very nominal charge. Here accommodation is provided for one day or maximum for three days and long term stay is discouraged. Dudwala, Bagala, Kanneyala, Pathagar are some of the famous Dharamshalas. These places provide accommodation for the poor those who can't afford the budget accommodation.
Around temple complex lodges at a cheaper rate are available. These hotels or lodges have all basic facilities for standard stay for a day or two. Good hotels are available at sea beach areas and on the main road or known as Grand Road (Grand Trunk Road). If you are at Puri for pilgrim purpose then stay near temple area otherwise stay at sea beach area. Usually tourist ( maximum from west Bengal state ) prefer to stay near sea beach area. List of hotels of Puri
SwargaDwar (Road to heaven)
This is the cremation ground of Puri, located by the side of sea this place is a sacred place and many Hindus wish to be cremated here. Dead bodies of nearby places are brought here for cremation. There is Puri Municipality fee of Rs 39/- collected for every cremation process. This place is open day and night and as per legend cremation fire never extinguish here.
Five Pilgrim place around Puri ( Pancha tirtha )
Markanda, Indradyumna, Rohini Kunda ( Inside temple ), Kalpa Brukha ( Inside temple ), Mohodadhi ( sea ) are the five sacred places around Puri town.
Peak Seasons at Puri
Tourist inflow increases during winter seasons as many Indian & foreign tourists prefer to visit Puri because of pleasant climate, however there are some special occasions when Puri gets maximum tourists because of some local events. Famous Car festival which falls in the month of July is the main one.
Peak season is Dec 20 to Jan 10, Ratha Yatra time and Suna vesa days. Oct 20 – 27
January first or New year there will be a long queue for Darshan of Lord Jagannatha
Kartik Month ( just after Dussehra festival )is the sacred month and during last five days of this month there will be heavy rush at temple.
On special occasions based on the festivals & Pujas for a short duration the demand for accommodation goes up. Near temple area demand goes up in Kartik month, just after Dussehra festival.
Tourist bus starts around 6.30 AM from Digabareni & from Hotel Paradise ( Grand road )
Read more on tour packages starting from Puri
Eleven points are covered. BBSR museum is not covered. One day before it can be booked.