Must Visit Temples in Puri
Puri as you may know in a char dham site and adobe of Lord Jagannath. There are several temples in the Puri, each with its own unique story and importance. It is recommended that you visit these temples during your journey. Here are the must visit temples in Puri.
Lord Jagannath Puri Temple
The star attraction of Puri is Jagannath temple. It is dedicated to Lord Krishna and dates back to 1200 AD. There are three deities inside the temple that belong to Lord Krishna, Balrama and Subhadra. Jagannath temple is regarded as first site of char dham yatra. The temple has its strict rituals that are being followed since 1200 AD. Even today, non Hindus are not allowed inside the temple. In fact it is crime for non-Hindus to enter the temple. The Jagannath Temple hosts annual rath yatra in June that is one of the major religious events in India.
Sakshi Gopal Temple
Perhaps the third most important temple here in the town is Sakshi Gopal Temple. It is not located in Puri but in a small village called Satyabadi near the temple town. Pilgrims who visit Puri should also visit Satyabadi and pay obeisance at the Sakshi Gopal Temple else your visit will be considered incomplete. The temple has resemblance with Jagannath temple. Inside the temple is life size idol of Lord Krishna playing flute and Radha standing next to him.
For seven days in a year, Gundicha Temple takes away all the limelight from the Jagannath temple. This happens during the annual rath yatra in June. The deities inside the Jagannath temple are brought to Gundicha Temple during the festival. The deities stay here for seven days and during this period, all the traditional prayers and rituals are performed in Gundicha Temple. This event celebrates the visit of Lord Krishna to Mathura that lasted seven days during which he killed Kansa.
It is said that after the marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati, Goddess Lakshmi who is wife of Lord Vishnu and goddess of wealth, invited them for dinner at this very spot. Happy by the hospitality of Goddess Lakshmi, Shiva and Parvati created a temple here and dedicated it to her. Apart from Gundicha temple, this temple also plays a very significant role in the annual rath yatra.
Shree Lokanath Temple
Very few people know about the legend associated with this temple. According to Hindu mythology, Shree Lokanath Temple was founded by Lord Rama. Once Lord Shiva decided to hide in order to save himself from Sade Sati, an astrological event related to Saturn in Indian Astrology. On Earth, Lord Shiva came to Puri and hide inside a lake. This temple is built on the lake. The Shiva Lingam inside remains half inside the water.