PRIME ATTRACTION

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» East India
» Orissa
Location: 60-km from Bhubaneswar, Orissa
Reigning Deity: Lord Jagannatha
Main Attractions: Lord Jagannatha Temple, Puri Beach & Gundicha Mandir
Significance: One of the four holiest points of pilgrimage for Hindus

Narasimha Temple
This temple is located next to the Gundicha Temple. There are two Deities of Lord Narasimha, one behind the other. The Deity in front is called "Santa Narasimha" (sober). Anyone who sees this Deity will be cooled down; all his anger, frustration and anxiety will vanish.

The Deity in the back is called "Raga Narasimha" (anger) he is the internal mood of Narasimha. When the Muslim 'Kalapahad' attacked Puri and was breaking the Deities, he saw Santa Narasimhadeva and his anger subsided; hence he could not break the Deity as he had planned. Santa Narasimha's features are human-like. He has a sharp human nose, large, curly mustache, and an outstretched tongue.

Lord Chaitanya took 'darsana' here during his Gundicha pastimes. Lord Chaitanya rested near this temple after cleaning the Gundicha Temple. Non-Hindus are not allowed in the temple, but one can see the Deities standing by the door.

Puri Rituals, Puri, OrissaHaridasa Thakura's Samadhi
The Samadhi temple of Haridasa Thakura, the Nama-Acharya (teacher of the chanting the holy names) is located by the beach in the "Swarga Dwara" area near the "Purusottama Gaudiya Math". Within the temple, the chapel structure is Haridasa Thakura's samadhi. There is a very nice painting of Haridasa Thakura in the samadhi. On the center alter is a wooden Deity of Lord Chaitanya, on the right altar, Lord 'Nityananda' and on the left, Advaita Acarya.

Sri Chaitanya gave a benediction saying, "Anyone who has chated and danced here at Haridasa Thakura's samadhi will achieve the favor of Krishna very soon. There is such wonderful power in seeing Haridasa Thakura."

Residence of Haridasa Thakura
Siddha Bakula is the "Bhajan-Kutir" of Haridasa Thakura, where he chanted 300,000 names of God daily. In order to provide shade for Thakura Haridasa, Sri Chaitanya planted a toothpick used by Lord Jagannatha. All of a sudden it grew up and appeared as a great shade tree. Rupa Goswami recited "Lalita Madhava" and "Vidagdha Madhava" before Sri Chaitanya and his followers under the tree here. During his stay in Puri, Santana Goswami lived here with Haridasa Thakura. This is considered a very holy spot for the "Gaudiya Vaisnavas", as this where left his body and where, after his departure, Sri Chaitanya carried his body while dancing in ecstasy.

Sri Haridasa-Sadbhuj Temple
About a hundred feet away in the same compound of the residence of Haridasa Thakura is the Sri Haridasa-Sadbhuj Temple. There is a "Sadbhuj-Murti" (six-armed form) of Lord Chaitanya on the altar. Beside this Deity is Lord Nityananda on one side and on the other side a shorter Advaita Acharya. A 'Murti' of Haridasa Thakura is in front, to the side of the main altar. There is also a Deity of Lord 'Narasimhadeva'.

Gambhira
Gambhira is located close to Siddha Bakula. There is a sign over the door that says "Shri Radhakanta Math, Gambhira." It is about half a km from the Lion Gate going toward Swarga Dwara or the ocean. On the left of the entrance is a small temple with Deities of 'Radhakanta' (Krishna), 'Lalita' and 'Vishaka'. Radhakanta were worshiped by Gopalaguru Goswami, the disciple of Vakreswara Pandita. On the far right is Lord 'Gauranga' and on the far left is Nityananda.

This is the former house of 'Kasi Misra'. One can look through a small barred window into the room called "Sri Gambhira". This is the room where Sri Chaitanya lived. There is a lamp here that remains always lit and never goes out. One can see Sri Chaitanya's original wooden sandals, His quilt, water pot, and bed. Sri Chaitanya lived for 12 years in this room. On a marble throne, a cloth encircles the 'Murti' of Sri Chaitanya, so that just His face is visible. Upstairs there are dioramas of the life of Sri Chaitanya.

Puri Market, Puri, OrissaSarvabhauma Bhattacarya's House
This house is about one-half kilometre south of the "Simha-Dwara" (main gate) of the Jagannatha Temple. If one walks out of the Jagannatha Temple, turn right and follow the road toward Swarga-Dwara. Go past the first right, which goes around the temple, and then walk about another 100m and make the next right to Sweta Ganga Tank.

"Sarvabhauma's House", better known as "Gangamata Math", is on the left. There are Radha-Krishna Deities called "Radha-Rasikaraja" in this house, which are said to have been worshiped by 'Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya'. Inside there are paintings of devotional scenes all over the walls. The black wooden sandals are said to have belonged to Sarvabhauma. There is a hidden tunnel in the house, which is said to lead in two directions- to the sea and to the Jagannatha Temple. It is said that Sri Chaitanya used this tunnel.

Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura's Birthplace
It is located about 1-km from the Jagannatha Temple on Grand Road. There is a Gaudiya Math temple here with Jagannatha Deities and a Murti of Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaja. There are also Murtis of the heads of the four "Vaishnava Sampradayas" - 'Vishnuswami', 'Madhvacharya', 'Nimbarka', and 'Ramanuja'.

Jagannatha Vallabha Gardens
Sri Chaitanya used to meet here with 'Ramananda Raya'. Ramananda Raya used to train girls here to dance for the pleasure of Lord Jagannatha. There are three altars in the 'Jagannatha Vallabha temple'. On one altar there are large Deities of Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Lady Subhadra. On the middle altar there are Deities of Lord Chaitanya (in saffron) and Ramananda Raya (in white). On the third altar are Radha-Krishna.

This place is about one km from the Jagannatha temple on Grand Road. Non-Hindus cannot enter the temple, but can walk around some of the gardens. There is also a small lake here.

Jadannath Cult, Puri, OrissaTota Gopinatha Temple
Gaudiya Vaisnavas accept that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ended His manifested pastimes in Jagannatha Puri by entering into the knee of the Tota Gopinatha Deity. On the far left altar is Lord Balarama and His two wives, 'Revati' and 'Varuni'. On the middle altar is Tota Gopinatha, accompanied by black Deities of 'Radha' and 'Lalita'. Tota Gopinatha is in a sitting position. On the right altar are the Deities of 'Radha-Madana Mohan' and 'Gaura Gadadhar' used to worship Tota Gopinatha regularly as per Sri Chaitanya's personal instructions.

This temple is located by a large white water tower in the Gaurbat Sahi area. It is five minutes walk from the 'Chatak Parbat Purushottam Gaudiya Math temple'. The sign on the door says "Shree Tota Gopinathjee," and there are two stone lions by the door.

Chatak Parbat Gaudiya Math
This temple is in the area where Sri Chaitanya mistook the sand dune hills to be 'Goverdhana' Hill. The Bhajana-Kutir of 'Srila Bhaktisiddhanta' Maharaja is here, as well as his bed. One will also find a Murti of 'Veda-Vyasa' in the Bhajana-Kutir.

This temple is by a big white water tower, about a 10-minute walk from Haridasa Thakura's samadhi.

Narendra Sarovara
This is a large tank. There is a small temple, on an island about a hundred feet into the tank, with Deities of Lord Jagannatha, Baldeva, and Subhadra. Directly behind Lord Jagannatha is a deitty of 'Yasoda', the mother of Krishna. At the other end of the temple room is a Deity of Lakshmi. Also on the island is a 'Shiva-Linga' temple and a Deity of Bala Krishna.

This is where the boat festival called "Chandana-Yatra" is held during which Lord Jagannatha goes for a boat ride. Since Lord Jagannatha is very heavy, the 'Vijaya Vigraha' (festival deity), known as 'Govinda', rides in the boat. Sri Chaitanya and His devotees took part in this festival. It is located off Grand Road, on the same side as the Jagannatha Temple .

Jagannath Temple, Puri, Orissa
Paramananda Puri's Well
Sri Chaitanya told all the devotees that this well water is the same as Ganges water and a person who drinks it or bathes in it would certainly develop pure love of Godhead. It is a five-minute walk behind the West gate of the Jagannatha Temple. It is located on Lokanatha Rasta, inside the gate of the Baselisahi Out Post (policemen's residence).

Indradyumna Sarovara
This water tank is about a half-km from the Gundicha Temple. Water to clean the Gundicha Temple is brought from this 'Kunda'. Sri Chaitanya engaged in water sports with his intimate associates in this tank.

Balagandhi
This is the place where Lord Jagannatha stops His chariot to accept a massive 'bhoga' offering. There is a temple on the right side of the main road marking the spot, about a km down from the Lion Gate (Main Gate) on the way to Gundicha Temple.

Alalantha
Alalantha is also known as Brahmagiri. It is about 25-km from Jagannatha Puri, close to the beach. There is a temple of Lord Jagannatha here and a large stone slab marked with the impression of Sri Chaitanya's transcendental body. The stone melted while the Lord lay there in ecstasy. Anyone can view the stone, but non-Hindus cannot enter the temple.

Sri Chaitanya would often come here during the two weeks when Lord Jagannatha remains in seclusion before the Ratha-Yatra festival. At the rear of the dome of the temple is an inset sculpture of Narasimha, with 'Hiranyakashipu' on His lap. There is also a sculpture of Lord 'Vamana' piercing the outer shell of the universe.

When one comes here one can also visit Ramananda Raya's house in a place called "Benta Pura", which is a few km away, near a rice mill. It is in a small village on the way back to Puri. There is a Deity of Lord Chaitanya with a shaven head, with Ramananda Raya seated beside Him in saffron robes.

One can get to the Alalantha temple by catching a mini-bus at the back of Narendra-Sarovara, to Brahmagiri. It takes about an hour to get there.

Atharanala Bridge
This bridge is at the entrance of Puri. It has 18 arches. "Athara" means 18. " When all the devotees coming from Bengal arrived at the bridge, Lord Chaitanya sent two garlands with Govinda to offer to Lord Nityananda and Advaita Acharya." This bridge is symbolic of the emotion of arriving or departing from Jagannatha Puri.

The present bridge is an addition, constructed directly on top of the original brick bridge. One can see the temple 'Chakra' from it.

ISKCON
There are two ISKCON centers in Jagannatha Puri. One is located in the Swarga Dwara area by Haridasa Thakura's samadhi. This is where Bhaktivinode Thakura's had his Bhajana Kutir. A temple and a guesthouse are being built there.

There is another ISKON center, located about 5-km from the Swarga Dwara area past the Hans Coco Palms Hotel. The land itself is very nice and "Gaura-Nitai" Deities are installed there. However, there are very few facilities available for pilgrims as of January 1996.



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