Sun Temple of Konark, built in the middle of 13th century, is a massive conception of artistic magnificence and engineering dexterity. King Narasimhadeva I, the great ruler of the Ganga dynasty had built this temple, with the help of 1200 artisans within a period of 12 years (1243-1255 A.D.). Konark Temple was designed in the form of a gorgeously decorated chariot mounted on 24 wheels , each about 10 feet in diameter, and drawn by 7 mighty horses. It is really difficult to understand, how this huge temple, every inch-space of which was so wonderfully carved, could have been completed within such a short time. Whatever that might be, the konark temple even in its present ruined state, still a wonder to the whole world. Great poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote of Konark: "here the language of stone surpasses the language of man."
Around the base of the temple there are images of animals, foliage, warriors on horses and other interesting structures. On the walls and roof of the temple beautiful erotic figures are carved. There are three images of the Sun God, positioned to catch the rays of the sun at dawn, noon and sunset. Sun temple of Konark is a masterpiece of Orissa's medieval architecture.
The large structure of Konark Temple seen today is actually the entrance of the main temple. The main temple which enshrined the presiding deity has fallen off and only the remains can be seen.
Konark temple, made of black granite, was initially built on the sea bank but now the sea has receded and the temple is a little away from the beach. This temple was also known as 'BLACK PAGODA' and used as a navigational landmark by ancient sailors to Orissa. Inspite of the decay over the centuries the beauty of this monument is still amazing. If you are seriously interested in architecture and sculpture then you must visit this world famous monument. It has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1984.
CHILIKA-AT A GLANCE
Chilika Lake, popularly known as Chilka, the queen of Natural scenery in Orissa, also known as the Swiss-lake in the continent. Nestling in the heart of coastal Orissa, Chilika is India's biggest inland lake. Spread over 1165 square kilometres during the monsoon season and 906 square kilometers during dry season, it runs along the borders of three districts of Puri, Khurda and Ganjam and finally joins the Bay of Bengal through a narrow mouth, forming an enormous lagoon of brackish water. Chilika is the largest brackish water lagoon of Asia situated on east coast of India. It is situated between 19028' and 19054' North latitude and 85005' and 5038' East longitude. Due to its high productive ecosystem, rich biodiversity and socio-economic importance, Chilika was designated as a Ramsar site in October 1981, under the convention of wetlands of international importance.
n winter Chilika lagoon flutters with thousands of migratory birds and water-fowls from as far as the Siberia, Caspian sea, Lake Baikal, Aral sea, remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mangolia, central and south east Asia, Ladakh and the Himalayas for feeding, resting and roosting. Every year the birds start coming to the lake around the second and third week of October and stay up to March. They start their homeward journey at commencement of summer.
The lake is famous for bareheaded geese and common geese,etc. chilika is home to a rich variety of aquatic flora and fauna. Chilika is veritable wonder of nature. Containing a large variety of fish the lake privides livelihood to thousands of fishermen. Hundreds of boats sail out daily on the lake's blue expanse in search of mackerel, prawn and crabs, this sight providing an insight into the pageant of rural India at its colourful best.
Winter is the best time to go Chilika, from October to March, when the lake is crowded with large number of migrating birds from different countries. Avoid rainy season from June to September. In January visitors also congregate in huge numbers at kalijai temple, situated on Kalijai island in Chilka Lake, during Makar Sankranti to pray Goddess Kalijai.
Enriched by picturesque hills all along its arched shape, its colour changing in Kalidoscopic glory with passing clouds and the moving Sun, its body rolling in languid abandon, excited by the gentle breeze wafted from the Bay of Bengal. It is said that any visit to Puri remains incomplete without a visit to Chilika Lake. Chilika provides an opportunity to visit nature and natural beauties through its vast coverage of bluish water, small green mountains and islands in it and the clean bluish sky with floating clouds. That is why Chilika has attracted many poets, nature lovers, bird watchers and even the general public and tourists every year.
SATAPADA - AT A GLANCE
Located at a distance of 50 kilometers from Puri, Satapada on Chilika is very famous for Irrawaddy Dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris). 'Sata' means 'Seven' and 'Pada' Means 'Village', so the name Satapada means group of seven villages. It is located on the southern part of the Chilika Lake. The exact geographical location is 19°40'10"N and 85°26'38"E. Satapada is also famous for Sea Mouth Island where Chilka lake meets the Bay of Bengal.
Satapada, alternatively spelt as Satapara, is one of the most popular tourist place of Orissa. Here Dolphins and the scenic Sea Mouth attract large number of tourists every year. Satpada also provides the opportunity for viewing a memorable sunrise and sunset. It is advisable to reach there in morning hours and spent much of your time with Dolphins. At the dolphin viewpoint it is difficult to view the complete dolphin. If you are lucky then you will be able to see entire dolphin, generally some portion of the tail or head of the dolphin is visible while they are swimming. If they jumps then only the complete dolphin can be seen. Satapada is an ideal spot to enjoy with family.
Another major attraction is the nearby Rajahansa Island. It is a small island on Chilika at the mouth of the lagoon. This island is named after the famous bird ‘Rajhans’. A one-and-a-half-hours boat journey across the Chilika Lake from Satapada, takes visitors to Rajahansa island. The island is 18 kilometer from Satapada. Rajahans is a small strip of land which has the lagoon on one side and the Bay of Bengal on the other, with a forest and mountains in between. Though Satapada is not vary famous for migratory birds, but visitors may find different varieties of migratory birds here because the famous Nalaban bird sanctuary is very near to Satapada. It takes around 4 hours by boat from Satapada to reach Nalaban.
The Dolphin Motor Boat Association provides and manages motor boats at Satapada. Visitors can hire boats to go to the dolphin viewpoint to get a sight of the dolphins. The Motor Boat Association has rate chat for the different types of boats based on their capacity and duration of the visit. Tourists can also hire boats to go to Nalaban and Rajahansa Island.
WHERE TO STAY
Satapada is having the resort accommodation from Orissa Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (OTDC). It is known as Yatrinivas and provides excellent accommodation although the food is quite ordinary. Rooms can be booked at the tourist offices in Puri, Chilika and Bhubaneswar. Online booking facility is also available.
- Yatrinivas Satapada
- Address:Brahmagiri, Puri - 752001
- Phone:(06752) 262077
- Total Room/Bed:28/56
- Facilities:Restaurant, Conference Hall, T.V., Leasure Platform with swing for children.
HOW TO REACH
Air: Nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar (110 kilometers). Rail: Nearest rail head is Puri (50 kilometers). Puri connects to all the major places in the country via superfast and express trains. Road: Satpada is connected to Puri (50 kilometers) and other nearby places by road. National Highway number 203 connects Satapada to Puri. Bhubaneshwar and Puri have daily bus services along with taxis to Satapada. Conducted tours are also organised by OTDC and local tour operators. Local Transport: Cycles and Auto Rickshaws.
The temple of Siddha Mahavir is situated at a distance of about one Km to the north-east of the Gundicha temple of Puri. This is a small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. From the architectural point of view the temple is not so important but from the religious point of view, it is one of the important shrines of Puri. Tulasi Das, the famous author of Rama Charita Manasa, stayed here for some time when he visited Puri. The shrine of Siddha-Mahavir is an important place, where the presiding deity is greatly revered by the local people. God Siddha Mahavir is considered as one of the Eight Mahavirs of Puri town. This temple is built in sand stones and faces to east.
The image of Lord Mahavir (Hanumana), the presiding deity of the temple, is about 6 feet in height. He holds gada(club) in left hand and a massive rock boulder (Gandha-Mardana Mountain) in right hand. The deity has been installed on a decorated pedestal of 2 feet high. The slab of the presiding deity is carved with a series of Hanuman figures in different postures. They are locally considered as the asta-mallas such as Sugriba, Jambu bahana, Bali, Angada, Susena etc. These figures are also believed to be the eight advisers of Lord Rama during his expedition to Lanka to fight against Ravana for rescue of Sita. A brass image of Hanumana (Mahavira) has also been kept on the same pedestal as the vije pratima for ceremonial occasions. The presiding deity of the temple is very attractive to visitors and it is the best specimen of the fine workmanship. The background slab is relieved with scroll works, flower medallions and various scenes from the Ramayana.
The main temple (Vimana) of Siddha Mahavira is partially adorned with different sculptures and scenes. The three sides of the main temple are housed with images of Yamaraj, Keshari and Devi Anjana. The southern side wall of the temple contains the image of Yamaraja. The two handed image of Lord Yama has been installed on the plain pedestal. He is carved in seated posture on the backside of buffalo, the conventional mount. Lord Yama displays gada(club) in right hand and kala phasa in left hand respectively. The western side wall of the temple contains a statue of a male figure is locally worshipped as Keshari. The two handed image of Keshari has been installed on the decorated pedestal. He holds gada(club) in left hand and aksha mala in right hand. He is also wearing the garland of beads in his body. Six Hanumana figures are finely carved on the pedestal. Two female figures are flanked on either side of the deity. They are displaying flywhisks in their hands. The western side wall of the temple contains Devi Anjana (Mother of Lord Mahavir). The two-armed image of Devi Anjana has been installed on the double petalled lotus pedestal. She holds her child (Lord Hanuman) by her two hands. Two female figures are flanked on either side of the devi. All the side wall images of the main temple are made of black chlorite stone.
The entrance temple (Mukhasala) of Siddha Mahavira is also adorned with different sculptures and scenes. There is a scene of royal procession with two elephants inserted into a niche of the northern side wall of the Mukhasala of the temple. The elephants are placed one in front of the other so that only one is visible in this view. The front figure of the near elephant is of royal lineage as suggested by the two parasols hold by attendant figures, one on each elephant. Three figures with folded hands stand in-front of the elephants while an acrobat rolled into a ball is beneath the head of the near elephant. The head of the royal figure is completely missing. Some senior priests of the temple say that it is tour scene of Indra Devata. Most probably, this scene is a royal tour of Puri king. An elephant and a horse with their grooms are carved on the pedestal of the royal procession slab. A short line of inscription is engraved just below the sculptural panel.
The left side eastern entrance wall of the Jagamohana contains an image of Panchamukhi (Five faced) Ganesha in its niche. The slab of the deity is exquisitely carved by the artist. The ten-handed image of Ganesha has been installed on the decorative pedestal. His right five hands display chakra(disk), snake, trident, broken tusk, and varada mudra while the left five hands hold gada(club), pasa, ankusa, flower and a bell. The slab of the Panchamukhi Ganesha is carved out of black chlorite.
The right side eastern entrance wall of the Mukhasala is relieved with the sikshadana scene. It is the teaching scene of Vyasadeva who is reciting the Bhagabata Purana among his disciples. The guru is seated in a pavilion with his right leg crossed over his left and right hand raised as if imparting instructions. Facing him are three rows of two figures each. Both male and female devotees are flanked on either side of guru. Most of these devotees are carved in folded hands.
The surface of the temple complex is about 4 feet high from the road level. A boundary wall of 10 feet high has enclosed the temple and it measures approximately 80 feet in length on the northern and southern sides and 60 feet in width on the eastern and western sides respectively. The modern flat roof covers the main entrance porch of the temple complex. Two huge lions are installed on the both sides of the main entrance gate of the eastern side. They are acting as the gatekeepers of the temple.
There is a beautiful pond in front of the temple. Devotees wash their hands and feets in this pond before entering into the temple. The temple complex also houses a kitchen in the left side to cook foods for the presiding deity. People have great faith on Lord Mahavir and they attend this temple in large numbers every day (in more numbers on Tuesday) and during various festive seasons. Festivals like Makara Sankranti, Rama Navami, Dola Purnima are observed in this temple with great interest.
Swargadwar is the creamation ground of Hindus. 'Swarga' means heaven and 'dwar' means gateway, so literary Swargadwar is consider as the 'Gateway to Heaven'. General belief support the idea among Hindus to end their life in this holy place of Puri to get the accessibility to heaven for liberating their Soul and ultimately Salvation. Swargadwar,is in the sandy beach towards the South western corner of the town. In every Amabasya God Narayana represents Lord Jagannath in visiting sea which is said to be the in-law house of the Lord,through this holy cremation ground. On this holy site situated the temple of Goddess Smasana Kali. Goddess Kali act as the guard of Swargadwar and stand as the proof for all Heaven going Soul.
Purusottam Kshetra Puri has been accepted as the ‘Martya Vaikuntha’, where Lord Vishnu stays as Jagannath in the Bada deula, the great Temple. Here everything has been said to be great ‘Bada’ i.e. Bada danda, Mahaprasad, Mahadipa, Mohodadhi, etc. Any body, therefore, dies here straight goes to heaven and attains salvation. ‘MUKTI’ undoubtedly achieved through this Swargadwar, besides the Mohodadhi (sea). The devotees attach very strong faith in it and get themselves satisfied in visiting directly the to gateway of heven (Swargadwar). Bathing first at Swargadwar beach is conventional. Swargadwar is a sacred place. Sri Chaitanyadev too bathed here first, merged into Brahma (Divine Soul) here in Nilachal. According to scriptures, the Brahmadaru, from which the threemain deities of the Jagannath temple are carved out, floated to the beach at Swargadwar.
The ghat itself is a little square of darkness and silence in the centre of this worldly bustle; here the only lights are not those of bulbs and lanterns but of the slow-burning funeral pyres. It is natural considering the place as a divine for any time in the year, be it the season of heavy rain or shivering cold, be it the mid of dark night or the noon, one can view the magnanimity of the place for which it is famous.
One of the sacred tourist destination of Odisha, Sakhigopal (alternatively spelt as Sakhigopala) is a village of historical importance which is situated 19 kms. North of Puri on the way to Bhubaneswar. It is the most famous spot of Orissa for cocoanut industry. The singular national importance of the place is the famous Sakhigopal temple. It is one of the top calibre krishna temple of the country. It is a saying that unless Sakhigopal is visited the piligrimage to Puri is not complete. There is a large influx of piligrims on festive days like Anla Nabami, Dolapurnima, Chandan Yatra, Kartika Purnami, etc. Sakhigopal means witness Gopal.
There is very popular legend behind the name Sakhigopal. Two brahmins of Vidyanagar of south India went Brindaban on piligrimage. There the elderly one fell ill and was attened very sincerely by the younger. The elderly one promise the other keeping Lord Krishna as witness that on reaching their native place he would offer his beautiful daughter to the younger in term of marriage. Unfortunatly when both of them reached their native place the elderly one expressed evasive replies. The younger one was assured that due to low status of brahmin caste he was misfit for his lovely daughter.Without delay he again went to brindaban and worshipped Lord Krishna.However in the long run Krishna agreed but he told that the brahmin would walk ahead and he would follow him,but the strict instruction was the brahmin should not look back,otherwise he(Lord Krishna) would remain then and there.Lord assured that the brahmin would hear the sound of Nupura(sweet sound producing bracelet used by dancers arround ankel).Lord followed the brahmin to vidyanagar. On the way they were to cross the river Godavari.Due to sand the feet of Lord were dipped and no sound from Nupura was heard.The brahmin was too restless and apprehensive to look back.Lord stood on sand and did not move.The brahmin immediately ran to Vidyanagar and called the local people in good numbers.all were stunned to see the statue of Lord Krishna of Brindaban.the elderly brahmin repented and attested his promise by giving his daughter in marriage to the younger one.The local king developed great devotion and constructed one temple then come there at the sopt and designated as 'SAKHIGOPAL' .
The Gajapati King of Orissa Sri Purusottam Dev brought the statue from Vidyanagar after the place eas conred by him (1467 to 1495).The King installed the statue at his fort at CUTTACK which was worshipped by Lord Chaitanya on his way to Puri.After muslim invasion the statue was shifted from place to plale by the Khurda chiefs and at last it was stationed at ALASA.It is told the other name of Sakhigopal is Alasa,but at present there is small village called Alasa near Sakhigoal. One Brahmachari raised huge donations and raised a temple (60 feet high) in 1860.Initially there was one statue of Krishna.
At a later stage due to influence of Gita Govinda (written of Jayadev) people accepted the dual sculpture of RADHA KRISHNA,which is otherwise known as 'JUGALMURTI' and accordingly the King of Ranpur of Puri district offered one statue of Radha to have been conjugated with Lord Krishna.The height of Lord Krishna is 5 feet and that of 'Devi Radha' is slightly more than 4 feet.It is now also told during moonlit nights at the near by Bakulbana people have watched the glamourous love-play of Lord Krishna-Radha and Gopis. The temple is managed by Government of Orissa since 1939.
BATA MANGALA TEMPLE
lthough Puri has been considered as a famous centre of Vaisnavism, it is also recognized as a sakti pitha. Several sakta temples are located inside and outside of Lord Jagannath temple. There is a sakta temple dedicated to Goddess Mangala on the gateway to Puri. This temple is known as Bata Mangala Temple. This temple is located at a distance of 3 kilometers from Atharanala on the road leading from Puri to Bhubaneswar, on State Highway No.8.
The presiding deity of the temple is Goddess Mangala. The deity is very beautiful and has two hands and three eyes. She is sitting in padmasana Posture with smiling face. The two hands are holding pasa and ankusa. She is worshipped in the mantra of Durga and is the same as Mahamangala, Sarva Mangala and Mangala. In oriya language 'Bata' means 'Way', since Goddess Mangala is enshrined on the way to Shreekhetra, she is known as Bata Mangala. She is believed to guide the pilgrims to Puri. The pilgrims and all tourist vehicles used to offer puja and Darshan with all respects at Batamangala temple while entering into Puri and leaving Puri for their safe and happy journey.
At the time of Navakalebara festival of Lord Jagannth, the carts loaded with sacred wood entered into Shreekhetra after performing puja at Bata mangala temple. Famous rituals like Durga Puja, Dussehra, Chaitra Mangalabara etc are observed with great devotion in this temple.
PRESIDING DEITY GODDESS MANGALA
OUTSIDE VIEW OF THE TEMPLE
SIDE IMAGES ON TEMPLE WALL
LION GUARD IN FRONT OF THE TEMPLE
Ananda bazaar located to the north-east of the Singhadwara inside the temple complex. Arguably the biggest food market in the world, this bazaar is also historically important. Popular sweets- Khaja, Rasogolla and Chhenapodapitha, made of cottage cheese are quite popular with tourists.
our hallowed shrines located at cardinal points of the Indian sub-continent i.e. Puri, Rameswar, Dwarika and Badrinath are believed to have been liked by Lord Vishnu intimately. It is said and believed that He takes His bath at Rameswaram, meditates at Badrinath, dines at Puri and retires at Dwarika. It is therefore, a lot of importance is given to the temple food Mahaprasad (not simply prasad) here at Puri. According to Skanda Purana Lord Jagannath redeems the devotees by permitting them to partake his Mahaprasad, to have His darshan and to worship him by observing rituals and by offering of gifts ,Mahaprasad is treated here as 'Anna Brahma'.
According to Skanda Purana Lord Jagannath redeems the devotees by permitting them to partake his Mahaprasad, to have His darshan and to worship him by observing rituals and by offering of gifts .Mahaprasad is treated here as 'Anna Brahma'. The temple kitchen has got the capacity to cook for a lakh of devotees on a day. Mahaprasad is cooked only in earthen pots and medium of food is fire wood only. The steam-cooked food is offered to Lord Jagannath first and then to Goddess Bimala after which it becomes Mahaprasad. This Mahaprasad is freely partaken by people of all castes and creeds without any discrimination. The items offered include cooked rice, dal, vegetable curry, sweet-dishes, cakes etc. Dry confectionaries are prepared of sugar, gur, wheat flour, ghee, milk and cheese etc. When the steam cooked food is carried to Lord in slings of earthen pots no mes up from the food but when the same is carried back to the sale point after being offered to the Lord a delicious smell spells along in the breeze to the pleasant surprise of the devotees. Now the food is blessed. Mahaprasad consolidates human bond, sanctifies sacraments and grooms the departing soul for its journey upwards. Mahaprasad are sold in Anand Bazar or the Pleasure Mart of the temple which is situated on the north east corner of the outer enclosure of the temple. It is the biggest open-air hotel in the world where every day thousands of devotees purchase and eat together forgetting their caste, creed and status. Most of the residents in and around Puri depend upon this Mahaprasad to entertain their guests during social functions such as threading and weddings. The tourists prefer to carry a particular type of dry Mahaprasad known as Khaja (made of maida, sugar and ghee which stays fresh for days together. Dried rice Mahaprasad known as "Nirmalya" is also used by devotees and tourists for different sacred occasions.