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Jagannath Puri

Puri or Jagannath Puri is the abode of Lord Jagannath the Lord of Universe. It is also known as Purushottam Kshetra, Shrikshetra, Neelachal, Neelagiri & also Shankh Kshetra. Various Puranas and Vedic literatures highly preach the holy name of the Lord and describe the glories of this place. It is one of the four Dhamas of Lord Vishnu in India. Other dhamas are Rameswaram in Tamilnadu, Dwarka in Gujrat and Badrinath in Uttarakhand. It is said that God (Lord Vishnu) dines at Puri, meditates at Badrinath, takes rest in Rameswaram and rules in Dwarka. Among all these places Puri is a Dhama as well as a Kshetra. Where god takes birth is commonly known as Dhama but where he resides is known as Kshetra. In Puri, Lord Jagannatha originates in the form in which he appears and also resides here. Skanda-Purana, the most voluminious of the eighteen Maha-Puranas, mentions the sanctity and glories of this most ancient and sacred kshetra in the following words:

“Although Lord Jagannath is is all pervading and is the source of all, and there are also other holy places which destroy all sins, yet this holy place is superior as it has become the body of this superior being. He himself is present there assuming a form and has indeed made that place known by his own name.”

-Adhaya I -8/9 -

The word Jagannatha means the Lord of the Universe. So Jagannatha is the Lord of the Universe. The Jagannatha is also known as Purusottama: the best of all men, then the place called as Purusottama Kshetra. The consort of the Lord is Lakshmi. She is the embodiment of wealth. Her name is “Shri” means the wealth, prosperity & also fullness of all good things. This place is named Shrikshetra after the name of Mahalakshmi the consort of Lord Jagannatha. The name “Neelachala” constitutes as “Neela” means blue and “Achala” means mountain, as the temple is placed on the blue mountain. Moreover in the grand old days “Neelamadhaba” was worshiped here. “Neelamadhaba” constitutes three words “Neela+Maa+Dhaba”. Neela is Lord Jagannatha, “Maa” is Subhadra and “Dhaba” is Balabhadra. Hence Neela Madhaba took the present form as per his wish. Puri is also known as Shanka Kshetra. It is named after a demon Shankhasura who was killed by Lord Vishnu at this place. Lord Vishnu has taken incarnation of Meena to rescue Vedas from demon Shankhasura. Lord Vishnu was killed Shankhasura in Puri, since that the the place was called Shankha Kshetra.

Jagannath Puri was already an established and well-known centre of Vedic learning by the time of Christ. Puri is 60kms away from Bhubaneswar the capital city of Orissa. It is well connected by roads and rail and the nearest Airport is Bhubaneswar. The road leads to Puri from Bhubaneswar is known as Jagannatha Sadak. It was first built during 1822 to 1828 AD. Raja Sukhamaya Ray of Bengal contributed Rupees one lakh for the construction. Now the road has received the status of National Highway.

Puri is the place of pilgrimage as well as a place of tourist interest. Britishers were deeply moved by the temperature climate and golden sea beach. Many categories of Hotels, Guest Houses and Dharmashals are available to Tourists. One will get lost in this place by taking the grand view of the Lord and enjoying the sweet sun rise and sun set at the sea. The person can only feel this. It is very difficult to describe the feelings in words. Would you like to visit this place and share your feelings with the feeling of others.