Jagannath Puri is one of the most eminent and the biggest temples in the state of Odisha. Dedicated to Lord Jagannath or Lord of the Universe, the temple was founded in the 12th century. The foundation stone of the Jagannath Temple Puri was laid by Raja Ananta Varman Chodaganga Dev. The temple is situated on the coast of Bay of Bengal, and is 60 km away from the state capital Bhubaneswar. The devotees following the Vaishnava traditions deeply respect this temple, one of the four key Hindu shrines.
Interestingly, it is said that the ruler of the territory King Indradyumna once saw Lord Jagannath in his dreams. And as the Lord wished in the dream, he got Jagannath Puri temple built. Every year, the temple located in the heart Puri is visited by a large number of the devotees from India and abroad.
The devotees see here the grandeur of a 12th century temple along with the magnificent aura. Exquisite carvings are embellished on the walls of this gracefully tall temple. Pillars providing support to the temple are portrayed with the pictures on the life of Lord Krishna. Jagannath Temple of Puri belongs to the three as principal deities – Lord Jagannath and his siblings, Lord Balbhadra and deity Shubhadra.
The pure vegetarian spiritual food offered to Lord Jagannath is referred as Mahaprasad. As per the belief, a devotee acquires a good deal of spiritual progression just by having the Mahaprasad. As many as 56 varieties of Prasad are made as offerings to Lord Jagannath. The Prasad is prepared in a very traditional way, without using onion, garlic and various vegetables which are considered alien.
After being offered to Lord Jagannath, these offerings are made to Goddess Bimala Devi situated in the temple confines and the Prasada becomes the Mahaprasad. It is considered that Mahaprasad is very effectual for spiritual advancement. The Mahaprasad is available daily after 3 PM to 5 PM when the devotees take it sitting. The Mahaprasad is sold outside the sanctorum area belonging to the temple premises. The Mahaprasad is kept in the same mud pots in which it is cooked, keeping it hot for a long time. Mahaprasad's constituent include a few small pots of vegetables, dhal, and a pot of rice that is ten times the size of the small pots.Architecture of Jagannath Temple Legend of Jagannath Temple