Jagannath Puri Yatra

History of Puri (Odisha)

History of Puri – Jagannath Temple Town in Odisha

The holy city of Puri is celebrated throughout India as a place of pilgrimage from the time immemorial and the antiquity of this place is well established. There has been mention of the holy city of Puri in Rig Veda. The sacred city also finds mention in the Kuruma Purana, Narada Purana, Padma Purana and the Vishnu Khanda of Skanda Purana. Furthermore, Lord Jagannath has been described as the reincarnation of the Buddha as well according to the Vijrayana sect of Buddhism.

The medieval history of temple city Puri has seen a lot of destruction and plunder. The famous shrine of Jagannath Temple was invaded 18 times during its history to loot the treasures of the temple. However, the idols were taken to safe places by the high priests during the time of invasion. Even with all this loot and plunder, devastation of the temple was barred by well-timed resistance or surrender by the kings of the region.

Adi Shankaracharya’s Visit

During the 8th century, Buddhism was gaining a stronghold in the Indian subcontinent with Hinduism was waning under its influence. The great Hindu philosopher Adi Shankaracharya went on a journey to revive Hinduism in the Indian subcontinent. He traced the length and breadth of entire country on foot and established four ‘math’ (shrine) in all four directions in India which is today known as the ‘Char Dham’. The temple city of Puri was blessed to have the one of the ‘math’ known as ‘Govardhan Pitha’.

Advent of Sri Chaitanya

The sacred city of Puri has been a meeting ground for various branches of philosophy from different kind of sects of the Hinduism. With the arrival of Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanya, a 14th Bengali teacher brought a state of revelry of spiritualism in the state of Odisha and introduced the significance of Bhakti among people of Odisha. Sri Chaitanya was considered a full reincarnation of Supreme Godhead Lord Krishna by his devotees. Thus, the Vaishnav sect of Hinduism reached its pinnacle under Sri Chaitanya, who spent his last 22 years in the holy city of Puri.


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Published Date: June 29, 2016
Last Updated On: June 29, 2016
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