Top 13 Temples in Puri:
Puri Jagannath Temple:
Puri Temple Timings: 5:30 AM to 10:00 PM
The Jagannath Temple is one of the most important holy places for followers of the Vaishnava traditions. According to Mahabharata, the construction of this temple was commissioned for the first time by King Indradyumna. Later in the 12th century, the temple was developed under King Anantavarman of the Ganges dynasty. According to the divination of the trinity: Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra are the presiding deities. The sanctum sanctorum contains its delightfully carved wooden idols, which are periodically replaced by an exact replica. Surrounded by high fortified walls, this magnificent temple presents the architectural style Rekha Deula, divided into a sanctum sanctorum, a courtroom, an offering room and a porch. A Nila Chakra (Blue Discus) mounted above the temple is considered a cult symbol for the Jagannath clan. The main entrance to the temple is through the Lion Gate, while the other entrances are the doors of the elephant, tiger and horse. There are many other small temples and mandapas (porches) around the complex. The temple kitchen, Rosaghara, is one of the largest in the world. The temple is known worldwide for its annual automobile festival, or automobile festival, or the Ratha Yatra festival. The three presiding deities who are removed from the temple complex are huge finely decorated cars and they walk down Bada Danda Street to offer a darsana (view) to the devotees.
For Hindu devotees, a pilgrimage to Puri takes place only after taking a sacred bath in five holy places called Pancha Tirtha. Considered the starting point, the Markandeya Sarovar (tank) is located next to the famous Markandeshwar temple. Then there is the Rohini Kunda well (good), which is considered the Narayan residence. It is located in side the Jagannath temple complex. A fig tree next to him, Akshaya Kalpavat, is also worshiped. The next sacred place is called the sea, or Mahodadhi, located in the Bay of Bengal in the Swargadwar area of Puri Beach. His great Samudra aarti is also a great attraction. The Indradyumana chariot, near the famous Gundicha temple, and the Sarovar Swetaganga south of Nilachal, are the other Pancha Tirthas.
Timings: 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM
This 11th century temple is one of the five famous temples in Puri dedicated to Lord Shiva. According to legend, it was created by Lord Rama. The complex is built according to Deula Architectural style. The main temple is in marble, the rest in sandstone. The presiding deity of Lord shiva is a Shiva Lingam in the sanctum sanctorum. A natural fountain flows over it, so that the lingam remains immersed in water. Before the Shivratri festival, all the water is expelled and the lingam becomes visible to darshan for devotees. In this way, the lingam is clearly visible once a year. Offerings like flowers, milk, yogurt, sandalwood paste, honey, coconut water, beetle and bilva leaves made with lingam throughout the year decompose in the water, producing distinctive smell and taste. This mixture is considered prasad and is said to have healing properties. An idol of Lokanatha in the temple of Jagannath symbolizes his role as guardian deity of treasures. Lokanatha participates in Jagannath festivals such as Shivratri, Sital Sasthi and Candan Yatra.
Timings: 5:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM to 11:30 PM
Vimala, or Bimala Temple is a small temple located in the Jagannath temple compound next to the sacred pond Rohini Kunda. This temple is dedicated to the goddess Vimala, this temple is considered a Shakti Peetha, one of the holiest Shakti temples in India. Built in sandstone and laterite, it presents an Deula architectural style of the temple. Vimala is considered the wife of Lord Jagannath, and is also considered the guardian deity of the Jagannath temple complex. The Devotees consider it essential to worship Vimala before praying at the main temple of Jagannath. Any offering to Jagannath is not sanctified as mahaprasad until it is first offered to goddess Vimala. The temple witnesses great celebrations of the Durga Puja festival.
Timings: 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM and 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
The 9th century Varahi Deula temple is famous for the idol of the masterpiece of its ruling deity, the goddess Varahi. It is one of the temples of Puri known for its architecture. His main idol resides in the center of the sanctuary, with two small Varahi statues on each side. She sits in a pose of Lalitasana with a fish in one hand and a kapala (skull) in the other, and her right foot on a buffalo, his wife. Her surprisingly large belly symbolizes that she holds the universe in her belly. The temple is located in a picturesque garden in the small town of Chaurasi. The style and shape of this Sakta temple is different from other medieval temples. Unlike Rekha and Bhadra, it has a Khakhara style from the Kalinga dynasty and has a semi-cylindrical shape.
Sakshigopal or Satyabdi Gopinatha Temple:
Timings: 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM
This medieval temple built in the architectural style of the temple of Kalinga is dedicated to Lord Gopinatha, a form of Krishna. The story of a couple’s love and deprivation culminated in the manifestation of this temple as a stone statue of Lord Gopala, and the couple were appointed their first priest. Formerly called Satyabadi Gopinatha, the temple became known as Sakshi gopala, possibly after the idol of Sakshi Gopala was preserved in the city. It refers to one of the 16 idols of gods carved from an exotic and imperishable stone by order of King Vajra, grandson of Lord Krishna. It is a unique Vishnu temple for its prasada, because the food offerings are made of wheat and not of rice. The temple is famous for its annual celebration of the Amla Navami festival, which is associated with the ritual of touching the feet of the goddess Radha.
Darya Mahavir or Bedi Hanuman Temple:
Timings: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, Darya Mahavir is a small temple by the sea. A Hanuman with two arms, with a laddoo (soft) in his left hand, a gada (mass) in his right hand, is the deity who presides over the temple. The outer walls of the temple are carved with various deities such as Anjana and Lord Ganesha. The temple is also called “ Bedi Hanuman, ” which means “ Hanuman in Chains, ” according to legend that, on Lord Jagannath’s orders, Hanuman was tied to the edge of the beach as a lesson for be more vigilant when he has failed in his duty to prevent the waters of the sea entering Puri. Panasankranti, Rama Navami and Hanuman Jayanti are some popular rituals observed in the temple.
The Kapalamochana temple is one of the Pancha Pandava or the five famous Shiva temples of Puri. According to Hindu belief, the worship of Lord Kapalamochana helps to atone for “brahmahatya” (killing of a brahman). The interiors of the temple have an idol of the goddess Shyamakali with ten arms. The walls are carved with images of gods like Shiva, Vishnu and Narasimha. A Ganesha sandstone idol does not have its mountain mouse, which suggests its antiquity. Manikarnika is a sacred pool located within the temple facilities. Kapalamochana is associated with the Chandana Yatra Lord Jagannath Festival.
Timings: 6:00 AM to 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM
The Gundicha temple is important as a destination for the legendary Rath Yatra festival of the Jagannath temple. For nine days, the temple remains occupied by the idols of the Trinity Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra. A darshan (holy view) of idols, while at Gundicha, is considered more auspicious, even more than their darshanate Jagannath. But for the rest of the year, the temple remains vacant. The structure is located in the middle of a garden surrounded by walls. It is made of light gray sandstone and built in the Deula style of the architecture of the temple of Kalinga.
Timings: 5:00 AM to 12:00 Noon and 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
This oceanfront temple is popular not only as one of the holy places to visit, but also as a fun place! Located near the meeting point of the sea and the Bhargavi River, the sandy beaches next to the temple make it a perfect scenic spot, especially at sunrise and sunset. As goddess of water and navigation, the deity who presides over this temple is particularly revered among fishermen and boatmen. A form of the goddess Durga, she is worshipped as the eight-armed Baliharachandi. The Mahanavami festival rituals associated with the Jagannath temple are celebrated in Baliharachandi.
This site is known as the place where the sage Markandeya meditated. The Markandeshwar temple is among the five famous temples of Shiva in Puri, and among the 52 holy places for the worship of Shiva. The Presiding deity is Shiva in Lingam form. Sarovar Markandeya next to the temple is a water tank considered to be one of the Panch Tirthas of Puri. The complex has a flight of steps, or ghat, which leads to the reservoir to provide space for swimming. The steps are carved with ancient inscriptions, perhaps from the Ganges dynasty. Many rituals of the Jagannath temple festivals are celebrated in Markandeshwar with great fervor.
Timings: 5:00 AM to 12:00 Noon and 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Timings: 6:00 AM to 9:30 PM
Lord Jagannath would leave Puri during the Ashadha month of the Hindu calendar. This period is called “anavasara”, which means “lack of opportunity”. At this time, Jagannath manifests in the Temple of Alarnath in Brahmagiri, as Dev of Alarnath. Lord Alarnath is the deity who presides over this temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The four-armed deity idol holds a chakra (wheel) and a conch shell in the upper hands, and a lotus and club in the lower hands. Chandan Yatra is an annual sandalwood festival that takes place for 21 days on the lake behind the temple.
MausiMaa or Ardhashosini Temple:
Timings: 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Two legends give this temple its two names. One legend states that this place was native of Lord Jagannath’s ‘mausimaa’ – a ‘mother’s sister’ or aunt. Another legend mentions Mausi Maa as the savior of Jagannath’s abode when Puri was flooded. Henceforth named Ardhashosini, this small temple is dedicated to her. During the return journey of the Ratha Yatra of Jagannath Festival, the chariot stops at Mausi Maa Temple and receives her offerings – Jagannath’s favorite- Poda Pitha, a type of baked cake.
In ancient times, depending on the ruling dynasty, Puri was called Purusottama Dham, Purusottama Kshetra, or Purusottama Puri. It was always a pilgrims land – frequented by sages like Bhrigu, Atri, Markandeya, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Adi Shankaracharya, Sri Yukteswar, and Ramanuja. There are several religious sites in Puri, especially many mathas (monastery of Hindu sects). The city is globally renowned as a significant Hindu pilgrimage site. Puri is popular for its crafts of sand art and applique art. It is also amongst the Indian cities chosen by the government for heritage development. Enchanting temples, colorful festivals, and lovely beaches make Puri a perfect getaway destination.