Located in Puri on the eastern coast of India, Jagannath Temple Puri has a history dating back to the eleventh century, when it was built under the direction of King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva. The temple is part of the Char Dham, a series of our pilgrimage sites every Hindu is supposed to visit during their lifetime.
Worshippers come to the inner sanctum of the temple to honor the god Jagannath, an avatar of Vishnu, as well as Subhadra (the younger sister of Krishna in the epic Mahabharata) and Balarama (the older brother of Krishna and an avatar of Shesha). During Rath Yatra, the temple’s most important festival, the trinity of deities are paraded to nearby Gundicha Temple, where they remain for nine days before the parade back to Jagannath Temple.
Typical of Orissan temples of the time, Jagannath Temple features a series of ornate, pyramid-like towers called shikharas. The tallest tower, which rises above the inner sanctum, measures 214 feet (65 meters).
While only Hindus are allowed inside the temple’s inner sanctum, visitors can still enjoy the intricate temple architecture from the outside.