Notes on the Geography of Peninsular India: Puri
Puri is the home of the Jagannathat cult, whose annual festival draws tens if not hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Translation? Orissa Bridge and Construction Corporation. Why pay attention?
Just thought you should see the approach road.
The main road in Puri is phenomenally wide to accommodate the huge (nearly 50 feet high) temple carts that annually trundle along it. (The English word "juggernaut" is a corruption of the name Jagannathat, or Universal Lord, and refers to the supposedly unstoppable movement of those carts in motion.) Jagannathat, or Universal Lord, is a local god who evolved during the 15th century from earlier forms.
Plenty of cycle rickshaws.
One of the more substantial buildings on the street.
The police kiosk warns against cell phones and leather goods inside the temple.
We just stepped off the main road and through a doorway to this courtyard with a stage at the far end. What is it?
A room to the side reveals all: a school.
English lessons. Or Oriya ones, depending on your perspective.
The temple office, with lots of donations to manage. The tops of the main sanctuary and its accompanying porch are in the distance.
The east or main gate. The temple was established in the 12th century by Anantavarman Chodagaga as a temple of Purushottama, the god later transformed into Jagannathat. The column or ceremonial pillar originally stood before the temple at Konark but was brought here after Muslim invaders defiled that place and caused its abandonment, apparently in the 16th century.
This is as far as we go. Sorry about that.
We can walk around to this side entrance.
Most Orissan temples lack walls, but this one has a strong one, presumably as a defense in former times against Muslims.
The scaffolding gives a vertiginous sense of the tower's height.
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