Category Archives: Jagannath Puri – Surroundings

Danda bhanga Leela Bhumi of Lord Chaitanya | Chandanpur, Near Jagannath Puri

dandabhanga leela bhumi dwadash bhuja gauranga

On being requested by mother Saci, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ,who by then had already accepted sannyasa, decided to make Jagannatha Puri instead of Vrindavana, His headquarters. Nityananda Prabhu, Gadadhara Pandita, Mukunda, Govinda, Jagadananda and Brahmananda accompanied the Lord in His travel to Nilachala dham. The Lord asked them whether any of them had any possession along with them. They replied that all they had with them was the treasure of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s association. Mahaprabhu was very pleased to hear this.He wanted His associates to depend entirely on Krishna for their own subsistence.

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Atharnala bridge, Near Jagannath Puri

atharnala puri

Atharnala Bridge is a marvel of medieval Orissan architecture. This historic laterite stone bridge was constructed by King Bhanu Dev of the Ganga dynasty in the thirteenth century. It is a combination of two words – ‘Athar’ which denotes ‘Eighteen’ and ‘Nala’ which signifies ‘Passage’. Hence ‘Atharnala’ literally translates to ‘eighteen passages’. The original bridge is said to have been constructed by King Indradyumna in Satya Yuga. He was initially unsuccessful when he commenced construction. But later he offered the head of his eighteen sons to the river. Only then he was successful in building the bridge. This bridge is situated on the Musa River at the entry point of the city of Puri. Local people refer to it as the ‘Hulhuliya Bridge’.

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Alarnath temple, Near Jagannath Puri


Alarnath, also known as Brahmagiri, is situated about 25 Kilometers from Jagannath Puri. The history of this place dates back to Satya Yuga when Brahma worshiped Lord Vishnu here at the top of this hill. Being satisfied with Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu appeared and instructed him to carve His four-handed deity form out of black stone. Lord Vishnu also added that the place would come to be known as Brahmagiri as Lord Brahma had worshiped the Supreme Lord at that place. The present temple was built by King Madan Mahadeva about eleven hundred years ago and the worship was previously performed by South Indian Brahmins. Because the priests were in the disciplic line of the great spiritual teachers known as the Alvars, the deity became known as Alvarnatha (“Lord of the Alvars”), which in time became Alarnath.

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The story of Sakshi Gopal | Sakshi Gopal temple

sakshi gopal

When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu reached the town of Cuttack, He went to visit the temple of Sakshi Gopal. While there, Nityananda Prabhu narrated to Him the story of the enchanting deity. Once, there were two brahmanas who were residents of the town of Vidyanagar. One of them was elderly while the other was young. The two brahmanas made an extensive tour to see different places of pilgrimage. After visiting Gaya, Kasi and Prayag, they finally reached Mathura. Thereafter they saw Govardhan hill, the twelve forests, and finally arrived at Vrindavan. In the village of Panchakroshi in Vrindavan, there was a great temple where gorgeous worship of Gopal was conducted. After taking baths at the different bathing places across the Yamuna, such as Kesi Ghat, Kaliya Ghat, the two pilgrims visited the temple of Gopal. The beauty of Gopal enchanted their minds. They stayed for a few days. Later the older brahmana, being impressed with services rendered by the young one, promised to give him his daughter in marriage. The young brahmana was taken by surprise and exclaimed that such an arrangement was unusual as the elderly brahmana belonged to a rich aristocratic family while he, on the other hand, was without a decent education or wealth. Hence he requested the elderly brahmana to reconsider his words as the young brahmana was not a suitable bridegroom for his daughter. The young brahmana also warned the elderly brahmana that he had a large circle of family and relatives whom he should discuss before concluding. However, the elderly brahmana remained stubborn. He insisted that the young brahmana should accept his proposal. Thereafter, at the request of the young brahmana, the elderly brahmana promised in front of the deity of Sakshi Gopal, that he would give him his daughter in charity.

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