Jagannath Temple outside Odisha: Faridabad Shrine

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 26, 2024 IST

Bhubaneswar, June 26: While the Jagannath Temple in Odisha’s Puri is renowned worldwide, many lesser-known temples dedicated to Lord Jagannath exist beyond Odisha's borders. These temples, found in various parts of India and even internationally, reflect the widespread devotion to Lord Jagannath and showcase diverse architectural styles and cultural influences.

In the Faridabad locality of New Delhi, the Odia diaspora has built a magnificent and beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath. This temple stands as a testament to the collective efforts of many prominent individuals dedicated to promoting Shree Jagannath cult. 

In 1979, land for the temple was acquired under the name ‘Kalingavihar Sanskrutik Parishad’, with assistance from the Haryana Urban Development Authority. Initially, a small temple was planned for the site, and its foundation stone was laid in 1985 by former Vice President V.V. Giri. Subsequently, Radhanath Rath, the then editor of 'Samaj'—a prominent Odia daily—along with Manorama Mahapatra and Sadashiv Rathsharma, brought the idols of Lord Jagannath and his siblings, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra, from Puri. The inauguration ceremony of the temple was graced by  the then President of India, Giani Zail Singh. Following this, plans were made to construct a larger temple, and work on it soon commenced.

At that time, there were only Rs 1012 in the account, yet the dream remained grand. This led the organizers to face numerous obstacles. When concerns were raised about administrative measures to limit the temple's height, the foundation had already been laid. This issue slowed down the temple's construction. As a result, eight years had passed without significant progress.

Amid the tension, an unknown person arrived at the site on one fine day. Silently listening to the organizers' struggles, he devised a plan for the temple himself. Thanks to his efforts, a temple of a certain height was eventually built, though his identity remained a mystery. During the temple's Vastu Pujan also, a strange incident occurred:as a fire suddenly erupted from the ‘Yagyan Kunda’ and then stopped on its own. This unexpected event left everyone in shock.

Today, the temple is managed by the Srijagannath Cultural Center. Standing at a height of 99 feet from the ground, the temple complex includes the main temple, Gambhira, Natmandap, and Mukhasala, all constructed in the ‘Pancha Rath’ style. 

During the temple's inauguration, 737 ‘Shalgrams’ were brought from Nepal. Along with them, Gopal Shaligram weighing about 10 kg is now worshipped here.

Three of Lord Vishnu's ten avatars—Varaha, Narasimha, and Vamana—are worshipped on the temple's outer wall. Their idols, crafted from black chlorite stone or 'muguni pathara'. The temple draws over 1,000 devotees each day.

All rituals in the temple are conducted following the traditions of Puri Srimandir. The Temple Inauguration Day is also celebrated every year on a grand note. In 2015, the ‘Nabakalebara’ ceremony of the deities was also performed here. Since 2017, a 12-wheeled, 575-piece, 32-foot-tall wooden chariot, modeled after Goddess Subhadra's chariot in Puri, is being constructed at the Jagannath Temple in Faridabad and pulled by devotees.

Here, the Lord's chariot travels a distance of two kilometers from the temple to reach Jagannath Vatika temple by evening. The local administration has ensured that all electric wires along the route are underground. Approximately 10,000 devotees gather to pull the chariot. During the Rath Yatra, the special 'Chhera Panhara' ritual is performed by Dr. Prabir Kishore Manoj Kumar Das, one of the prominent organizers.

The Faridabad Jagannath Temple and its Rath Yatra exemplify the profound spiritual devotion of the Odia diaspora.

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