Shri Jagannath Temple,
Puri, Odisha 752002
Shri Jagannath temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu because Lord Jagannath is a form of Lord Vishnu. According to mythology, King Indraudumman was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. In Tartara yug a person came to his court and told the king that in Odisha, Vishnu has been worshiped in his best form ‘Neelmadhav‘ since long. King Indrauduman became enraged over the philosophy of his beloved Vishnu ji and immediately asked his chief priest Vidyapati to go to Odisha and find out. While Vidyavati reached Odisha, it was found that the king of the clan worshiped Lord Vishvasu Neelmadhav secretly, but even after repeated request, Vishvasu was not ready to give his place of Neelmadhav to Vidhyapati. Vidyapati stayed in the clan to try more. In the meantime, there was love between Vidyapati and Vishwasu’s daughter and they both got married. After the marriage, Vidyapati told his wife to convince his father to take him along for Neelmadhav’s darshan. Vishwasu could not refuse the daughter’s request, but he kept condition that Vidyapati would have to go with him with his eyes covered. Vidyapati accepted the condition but his spread mustard seeds along the way so that once the plants grow he can come back to see Neelmadhav. Vidyapati was spellbound with the beauty of Neelmadhav. After darshan Vidyapati went to Raja Indrudhudan and described beauty of Neelmadhav to him, the king too became curious about and immediately headed for the secret place of Neelmadhav with Vidyapati. But when they reached the secret place by the way shown by mustard plants, they did not find Neelmadhav. The king was very unhappy and thought that he would ever be able to see Neelmadhav. Then a holy voice asked him to go to Puri beach and look for a wooden trunk that floats in water. The king spotted the trunk in Odisha shore. He brought a wooden stem found floating in the ocean to his palace and wanted idols of Vishnu to be made out of it. The wooden log that was brought by the king was so hard that no carpenter able to work on it and as nobody had seen Vishnu, they didn’t know how the idol should look like.
Then Vishwakarma himself appeared in the form of an old artisan said that he’ll make statues for Raja, but his condition is that no one, unless he speaks himself, will come in his room nor will he try to see what he is are doing. The sound of working on wood from the room continued for some days, but when no sound was heard for 6-7 days, the queen asked the king to open the door. When the door was opened the artist disappeared and left behind 3 incomplete idols. The king accepted his mistake and built a temple for those 3 idols, which is today called the Shri Jagannath Puri Temple. Even today the idols are the same which was established by King Indrauduman. In the Shri Jagannath Puri temple, one can see idols of Shri Jagannath means Vishnu, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra. Shri Jagannath Puri shows the way to live life as a festival.