Jagannath Temple: The temple of Jagannath, 'Lord of the Universe', is not open to non-Hindus but amongst Hindus its considerable popularity is partially due to the lack of caste distinctions — all are welcome before Jagannath. Non-believers can look down into the temple from the roof of the Raghunandan Library, opposite the main entrance to the temple. You'll be asked for a donation.
The temple enclosure is nearly square, measuring almost 200 metres on each side. The walls of the enclosure are six metres high. Inside there is a second wall enclosing the actual temple. The conical tower of the temple is 58 metres high and is topped by the flag and wheel of Vishnu. It is visible from far out of Puri. The temple was built in its present form in 1198. In front of the main entrance is a beautiful pillar, topped by an image of the Garuda, which originally stood in front of the temple at Konarak.The main entrance is known as the lion Gate from the two stone lions guarding the entrance. In the central Jagmohan, pilgrims to the temple can see the images of Lord Jagannath and his brother Balbhadra, and sister, Subhadra. Although non-believers are not, of course, able to see them, the many shop stalls along the road outside the temple all sell small wooden replicas. The curious images are carved from tree trunks, in a child like caricature of a human face. The brothers have arms but the smaller Subhadra does not.
All three are garlanded and dressed for ceremonies and the various seasons. The temple employs 6000 men to perform the temple functions and the complicated rituals involved in caring for the gods. It has been estimated that in all 20,000 people are dependent on Jagannath and the God's immediate attendants are divided into 36 orders and 97 classes! Rath Yatra or Car Festival One of India's greatest annual events takes place in Puri each June or July when the fantastic festival of the cars sets forth from the Jagannath Temple.
The Beach: Puri has a fine stretch of whit which Indian pilgrims bathe customary fully attired mannei fishermen wearing conical st: guide bathers out through the s can hire your own lifeguard fc morning or afternoon!