SUN PILLAR AND FOUR GATES OF JAGANNATH TEMPLE

 The Sun Pillar

In front of the entrance to the eastern gateway there is the beautiful Sun Pillar (Aruna Stambha), which originally stood before the temple of the Sun at Konark and was shifted here by the Marathas.The Sun Pillar is a monolithic shaft of chlorite with sixtten sides.It is 25 feet and 2 inches in height,2 feet in diametre,and 6 feet and 3.5 inches in circumference.It stands on an exquisitely carved pedestal (made of chlorite) of 7 feet 9 inches square and 6 feet high,and has a capital on the top 2 feet high,over which squats the praying Aruna. The capital is formed of two rings surmounted by a series of lotus petals. The measurements thus give a total height of 33 feet & 8 inches from the ground to the top of the capital.In its present situation the pillar is about two part of the 13th century.

Sun Pillar in front of Lion's Gate of Jagannath Temple

The temple has two big concentric walls and four gates both in outer and inner walls.The outer wall of the temple is known as Meghanada Prachira (665 ft. x 640 ft.) and the inner wall is known as Kuruma Bedha (420 ft. x 315 ft.).The height of the outer wall varies from 20 ft.to 24 ft. with serrated battlement on its top.The loftiness of the walls proves that the temple had served the purpose of a fort.This is corroborated by the fact that at the time of the Muslim invasion the civilians as well as the soilders took shelter inside the compound when certain portions of it were damged.There is no historical evidence to prove when the outer and the inner walls were constructed.But from the Madala Panji and the local tradition it is known that these were bulit not earlier then the 15th century A.D.

 The Gates

In the temple of Jagannath there are four gates both in outer and inner enclousers.The eastern entrance of the outer enclousure is called Simhadwara or the Lion Gate. The entrance on the Southern,Western and Northern sides of the out enclousure are known as Aswadwara, Vyaghradwara and Hastidwara respectively. They are also called as Purbadwara, Dakhinadwara, Paschimadwara and Uttardwara according to their directions.Worshipping the gates also forms a part of the daily ritualistic service of the temple.The eastern gate is beautifully ornamented.Navagraha reliefs are carved on the architraves of all the gates.

 Eastern Gate/Lion's Gate/Simha Dwara

The Simhadwara or the Lion Gate has on each side a colossal crouching lion of the usual Odishan make with a crown on its head,which gives the gate its name.In the proylaeum at the Lion Gate on the northern side there is the image of Patitapavana.In front of Patitapavana a small image of Garuda has been installed. the idols of phatya Hanumana,Radha-Krishna,and Nursimha have been installed in the inches of the side walls.Formerly the untouchables who were not allowed to go inside the temple used to offer their prayers to Patitapavana (Jagannath) remaining outside the Simhadwara.Inside the outer enclosure is the inner enclosure,approached by 22 flights of steps (Baisipahacha) from the eastern gateway of the outer enclosure.The width of the middle 15 steps varies from 5 feet and 10 inches to 6 feet 3 inches and the rise is 6 inches to 7 inches.The size of the remaining 7 steps are smaller both in length and width.The steps are made of felspar and Khondalite.The idols of Kasi-Biswanath,ramachandra,Nursimha, and Ganesh have been installed on the southern side of the Baisipahacha.

Eastern Gate of Lord Jagannath Tmple

 Southern Gate/Horse Gate/Aswa Dwara

The Aswadwara or the Horse Gate has on each side a galloping stallion of masonry work with the figures of Jagannath and Balabhadra on their back in full military array.These sculptures depict the legendary Kanchi expedition of Jagannath and Balabhadra,and have been installed recently.The inner enclosure is approached by ten flights of steps,made of khondalite,from the southern gateway of the outer enclosure.

The images of Sadhabhuja Gouranga,Ramachandra,Gopala,Barabhai Hanumana and Nursimha have been installed in small shrines in the outer enclosure.Towards the eastern direction of it is the kitchen of Lord Jagannath which can feed thousands of people at a time. The process of cooking done in the kitchen has some peciliarities.In the same over nine earthern pots are placed and cooking is done simultaneously.There are 200 hearths in the kitchen and 400 supakars work here daily.The present kitchen building dates from the regin of Divyasimha Deva (1690-1713 A.D.) and was built by a private person.The colossal image of Mahavir Hanuman is installed outside the temple enclosure to the east of Aswadwara.

Southern Gate of Lord Jagannath Tmple

 Western Gate/Tiger Gate/Vyaghra Dwara

The Vyaghradwara or the Tiger Gate has on each side a figure of a tiger made of mortar.The inner enclosure is approached by seven flights of steps,made of khondalite,from the western gateway of the outer enclosure.The deities of Rameswar-Mahadeva,Sri Jagannath Dwarakanath,and Badrinath are installed in the outer enclosure in a shrine known as Chaturdham.

Flower garden have been set up both the sides from which flowers are collected for the daily worship of the deities. The shrines of Chakranarayana, Sidheswara, Mahabir Hanuman, and Dhabaleswar Mahadeva are located in this area.On the northern side, the Niladri Vihar has been constructed which depicts the popular legends on Jagannath through models and paintings.

Western Gate of Lord Jagannath Tmple

 Northern Gate/Elephant Gate/Hasti Dwara

The Hastidwara or the Elephant Gate had on each side a colossal figure of elephant,which is said to have been disfigured during the Muslim inroads.Subsequently,these figures were repaired and plastered with mortar and placed at he northern gate of the inner enclosure (Kurma Bedha).

The inner enclosure is approached by thirteen flights of steps made of khondalite,from the northern gateway of the outer enclosure.The deities of Lokanath,Uttarani,Lakshmi-Nursimha,Baraha and Sitala have been installed in the outer enclosure.There is also the sacred Suna-Kuan from which 108 pitchers of water are taken for the ceremonial bath of Lord Jagannath during the Snana Yatra.On the western side of the outer enclosure,near the gate of the kurma bedha,stands a banian tree,and on a raised platform,the favour Koili Baikuntha or Kaivalya Baikuntha.During the Nabakalebara,the images of Jagannath,Balabhadra and Subhadra are being constructed here.

Northern Gate of Lord Jagannath Tmple

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