This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Ayush Kumar as he takes us to the holy town of Puri!
Today's destination: Puri, Odisha!
Nearest Airport: Biju Patnaik International Airport (BBI)
Nearest Railway Station: Puri Railway station (PURI)
Prerequisites - NA
Packing - Pack according to the weather, dress code might apply at certain places
Time of the year - November - January
Length of the itinerary: 3-5 days
Ayush shares his experience visiting the holy town of Puri, situated in the state of Odisha
We discuss the origins and history of the most prominent place in Puri, the Jagannath Temple, and its connection to King Indradyumna. The temple is believed to have been rebuilt in the 10th century AD by the Ganga Dynasty. The deities of the temple include Lord Jagannath, and his siblings Subhadra and Balabhadra.
The unique feature of the deities is that they are all made of neem wood, unlike other deities found in prominent temples. Ayush explains the key features of the Jagannath Temple, the connection to the Odissi art forms, and the temple kitchen which is believed to be the biggest in the world.
The temple kitchen is believed to have over 500 chefs and serves Chappan Bhog or 56 types of meals every day. We also discuss in detail about the iconic Rath Yatra of the temple. The Yatra happens over a period of 10-12 days and is attended by lakhs of devotees The Rath Yatra starts from the Puri temple and chariots of the 3 deities, Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra travel to the Gundicha Temple situated 3 kms away. There are several other rituals and ceremonies carried out prior to the yatra, including creating new chariots, bathing of the deities, quarantine for 14 days and many other interesting titbits.
We also discuss some very interesting mysteries around the temple as well as the important ceremony of Nabakalebara, or replacing the deities with new idols. We cap off the conversation by including other places of interest, including the Puri beach, sand art by Sudarshan Patnaik, important Matthas in the vicinity, Chilika Lake, the artisan village of Raghurajpur among others.
Episode 81 exploring on Bhubaneshwar: https://themusafirstories.com/podcasts/explore-bhubaneswar-with-ayush/
Link to Ayush's social media:
Instagram: @soul.traveller.kumar (https://www.instagram.com/soul.traveller.kumar/)
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