PORCH OF JAGANNATH TEMPLE

The porch is a pseudopancharatha temple which may also be called a tri-ratha pidha temple.It has four doorways,one to the west, which is common to it and the sanctuary.This is known as Kalaghatadwara (14 feet and 4 inches by 8 feet and 10 inches).Vishnu is the emblem of sixteen virtues (Kalas) and the doorway is supposed to be the junction of all these Kalas.The Devadasi,sings devotional songs standing near this doorway during the Badasinghara time (usually between 10.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m.).everybody is allowed to see her while She sings.But during the twenty-one days of chandan yatra She sings during the time of chandan lagi normally between 2.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. and nobody is allowed to see her while she sings.

The doorway opening to the Natamandapa is known as Jaya Vijaya (14 feet by 7 feet).Jaya and Vijaya are the celestial creatures of heaven who guard the ratna simhasana.This doorway is one of the finest specimens of Odishan architecture with Sapta Bandha.

All aspects of Rashalila of Lord Jagannath have been depicted here.The Odia inspiration of Prataprudra Deva (15th century A.D.) has been inscribed on the side walls of the doorway.

At the southern doorway (13 feet and 8 inches by 6 feet) of the porch there are two figures of Brahma with four-heads and Kamandalu in hand,and one four-armed siva nicely carved.

The doorway to the north leads to a chamber which forms the strong room of the temple,known as the Ratna Bhandara.It is a repository of valuables.the images of Astasakhis and the image of Lokeswara,the Treasurer of Jagannath,have been installed here.At the south-east corner of the porch and detached from it,there is a small chamber of modern date which serves as a retiring-room for the Devadasi.

The Natamandapa is of a much later date than the sanctuary and its porch,and architecturally of quite a distinct charecter.It is a square room,measuring 69 feet by 67 feet in the inside,the outside measurement being a square of 80 feet.At the eastern side of it there is the famous Garuda pillar placed inside and from this position a front view of the deities can be observed.In the Natamandapa the Devadasis used to dance at the time of Sakala Dhupa,till about 1985.Close by,on the eastern wall,there are sculptures of latter addition representing the scene of kanchi-kaveri expedition. The scene represents two mounted cavaliers (Balabhadra and Jagannath) with a milkman (maniki) standing before them carrying a pitcher on her head.There are also a few other paintings of recent date including the picture of Sankaracharya offering obeisance to God Nursimha.At a distance of few years,to the north of the Natamandapa,there are two big metal bells.One of the bells is hanging from an iron bar and the other one is placed on the ground.The weight of the bell kept on the ground is approximately 900 kg.

The refectory Hall stands immediately to the east of the Natamandapa.It is a square building like the other three,but of similar size.It is made of yellowish stand-stone rendered red by ochre painting.It measures 58 feet by 56 feet on the ground-plan and is profusely carved in the most finished style of Odishan art.It is the only part of the temple complex which has not been plastered.The chlorite fitures in the niches of the uper jangha depicting various mythological scenes are of smaller size than those occuring on the santuary and the porch,but are of good workmanship.The doorway seen in it is flanked by farmes of chlorite,chiselled in the riches style.The most significant sclupture engraved on the outer face of the northern adie is that of Durgamadhava.Here,Jagannath is shown along with Siva (Linga) and Durga which shows a syncretic tendency.

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