It is believed that when Lord Vishnu goes on his pilgrimage to all the four shrines inhabited, he bathes in his abode Badrinath on the high peaks of the Himalayas. In the west, wear clothes in Dwarika of Gujarat, eats in Puri, and rest in Rameswaram in South India. After Dwapara Yuga, Lord Krishna started living in Puri and became the Nath of the world i.e. Jagannath. Jagannath Dham of Puri is one of the four dhams. Here Lord Jagannath sits with elder brother Balabhadra and younger sister Subhadra.
In the ancient and sacred cities of Hindus, the entire Odisha state is situated on the coast. The Jagannath temple is dedicated to Shri Krishna, the Eighth avatar of Vishnu. Puri located on the eastern end of the Bay of Bengal in the east of India is a little away from Bhubaneswar the capital of Orissa. Today’s Orissa was known as Utkal Pradesh of ancient times. Here the country had a rich port, where Java, Sumatra, Indonesia, Thailand, and many other countries traded through these ports. In the Puranas, it has been called Baikunth of the earth.
It is one of the four Dhams of Lord Vishnu. It is also called Sri-Kshetra, Shri Purushottam Kshetra, Sath Kshetra, Nilanchal, Nilgiri, and Shri Jagannath Puri. Here, Lakshmipati Vishnu performed different types of pastimes. According to Brahma and Skandha Puran.
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History of Puri
Lord Vishnu, here appeared as Purushottam Nilamadhava and became the supreme God of the Patience tribe. Being the God of the Sabar tribe, Lord Jagannath‘s form here is like that of the tribal Gods. Earlier the people of the dynasty used to make the idol of their gods with cast metal. In addition to the priests of the Sabar tribe in the Jagannath temple, there are also Brahmin priests.
From Jyeshtha Purnima to Ashada Purnima Jagannath Ji, the Daitapati of Sabar caste does all the worship. According to the Puran, Purushottam Hari is worshiped in Nilgiris. Purushottam Hari is considered as the form of Lord Rama here. It is written in the oldest Matsya Purana that the Goddess of Purushottam region is Vimala, and she is also worshiped here.
According to Uttarakhand of Ramayana, Lord Rama asked Ravana’s brother Vibhishan to give his wish to worship Lord Jagannath the god of the Echhaku Dynasty. Even today, the tradition of Vibhishan worship is maintained in the entire Kesari temple. The geographical description of the entire Dham is found in the Skanda Purana. According to Skanda Purana, the whole is like a south-eastward conch, and it is spread over an area of 5 Kos i.e.approx 16 kilometers. It is believed that about 2 Koshas area has been drowned in the Bay of Bengal.
Its heart is the golden sand of the sea, it keeps on being the mountain water of the Mohdadhi. Tilwara region is in the western direction, which Mahadev protects. In the second circle of the Sangh, the second form of Shiva is seated Brahma Kapala Mochan. It is believed that one of Lord Brahma was again stuck with Mahadev’s palm and fell here since then Mahadev Siva is worshiped here as a form of Brahma.
The earliest evidence of this temple is found in the Bana Parva of Mahabharata. It is said that the first Savar tribal Vishwa Basu worshiped it as Neelmadhav. Even today there are many Sevakas in the temples of Puri, who are known as Daita-Pati of Lord Jagannath Tempple. King Indradyumna was the king of Malwa, whose father’s name was Bharat and mother Sumati. King Indradyumna saw in the dream that Jagannath appeared.
Many granthas have written in detail about King Indradyumna and his devotion. He performed many huge devotions here and made many lakes.
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Neelmadhav: Nilanchal Mountain to Puri
One night Lord Vishnu appeared to him in a dream and said that I have an idol in a cave in Nilanchal mountain, it is called Neelmadhav, you should build a temple and install a medium idol in it. Just send your servants in search of Nilanchal mountain. One of them was Brahmin Bidyapati.
Bidyapati had heard that the people of the Sabar clan worshiped Neelmadhav, and he kept this idol of his god hidden in the cave of Nilanchal mountain. He also knew that the head of the Sabar clan, Biswabasu is a worshiper of Neil Madhav, and he has hidden the idol in the cave. Claver Vidyapati married leaders’ daughter, finally, he managed to reach Neelmadhav’s cave through his wife. He stole the idol and gave it to the king.
Vishwabasu was very sad to steal the idol of his adorable goddess. The Lord also became unhappy with the suffering of his devotees, the Lord returned to the cave. But at the same time, he promised King Indradyumna that he would one day return to him, provided that he would one day build a big Temple for him.
The king built the temple and asked Lord Vishnu to come to the temple. God said that to make my idol, bring a big piece of a tree floating in the sea, which is coming from Dwarika by swimming in the sea. The servants of the king found a piece of that tree, but not everyone was able to lift that tree together. The king understood that the help of Sabar clan, the exclusive devotee of Neel Madhav, would have to be taken by Vishwabasu. Then he was surprised when Vishwabasu picked up the heavy wood and brought it to the temple.
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Why Jagannath’s hands are unfinished?
Now it was the turn to idolize God with wood, then Lord Vishwakarma came in the form of an old man. He told the king that he could make the idol of Neelmadhav But at the same time kept his condition, that he would make the idol in 21 days. And would make it alone, no one could see him making. Then his conditions were to accept the people.
The sound of the saw chisel hammer kept coming. King Indradyumna’s queen Gundicha could not stop herself, when she went to the door, she did not hear any voice, she was terrified, she felt that the old artisan has died. He informed the king, if no sound was heard from inside, then the king felt the same.
As soon as the room was opened, the old man suddenly disappeared. And three incomplete idols were found in it. Lord Neelmadhav and his brother had small hands. But his legs were not, while Subhadra’s hands were not even made. Taking this as the wish of God, the king installed these incomplete idols, since then all three brothers and sister existing form this.
The present-day temple was built in the 7th Century. Although this temple was also built in 2 BC. The temple located here has been broken 3 times. It was rebuilt by Orissa ruler Anant Bhimdev in 1174 AD.