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Jagannath Temple

Location: 62-KM from Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
Approach: By air upto Bhubaneswar, Rail and Road direct upto Puri.
Attractions: Lord Jagannatha Temple and Puri Beach.
Significance: One of the four dhams of pilgrimage for Hindus.

Puri, is the famous place of Lord Jagannath. The four dhams reforms by Adi Shankaracharya - Puri, Dwarka, Badrinath and Rameswaram in India. It is mentioned in Brahma Purana that Puri is the highest of all dhams, and it is also believed that by visiting Puri, one can achieve the maximum reward with minimum effort. Puri is the site famous for Jagannath Temple. Around the temple the religious life of the town revolves and the much revered Rath Yatra (Car Festival).

Puri is encompasses most of Asia's largest freshwater Chilika Lake. Lying on the shoreline of the Bay of Bengal, it has good sandy beach to relax. A perfact place for hliday vacation with pilgrimage.

Lord Jagannath

The pilgrimage place Puri is packed with narrow streets and brightly painted houses. The Jagannath Temple which soars out of these streets dominates the skyline. In bada danda street, shops selling religious souvenirs and home decorate items. The long stretch of coast, much cleaner towards the eastern end, remains crowded with sun bathers and swimmers in the season with local fishermen serving as life guards. Barring the pilgrims, congregating in hundred thousands during the annual Rath Yatra, Puri's traveller scene is dominated by Bengalis from all across West Bengal and some devotees from across the world. According to tradition, originally this dense forested area was inhabited by sabars, a tribal group who predated the Dravidians and the Aryans.

It is believed that the Sabars, originally worshipped the Lord Jagannath as Nilamadhab, and made images of red tree trunks. This deity was later adopted by Brahmins. Some believed it to be the sacred site of Dantaputra which once held the holy Buddhist Tooth relic. Until the time of its association with the Hindu reformer, Adi Shankaracharya, Puri was an obscure outpost along the coastal trade route linking the South with eastern part of India. Adi Shankaracharya brought it to the religious mapof India as a centre of teaching and learning a more ascetic of its four mathas here in the 8th century. A great temple was founded by Anatavarman Chodaganga in 1135, dedicated to Purushottama or Lord Vishnu and the name got changed to Jagannath in the 15th Century during the reign of Gajapatis.