Alaranatha (Vishnu Temple) near Puri
The temple is a one hour taxi ride from Jagannath Puri. You can also come here from Puri on a local mini-bus that leaves every hour or so from Narendra Sarovar. Western devotees are not allowed in the temple to see Alalanatha, so don't even try. But from outside you can offer obeisances to the Deity and the temple Chakra. Then you can do Mandira Parikrama and take Darshan of the incredible prema-shila of Gauranga Mahaprabhu, on the right side of the temple when entering the main gate from the road. This temple was built by King Madan Mahadev in 1128 a.d.
Lord Alalanatha (or Alarnatha) is an ancient four-handed Vishnu Deity believed to be installed by one of the Alvars. He is presently worshiped by the Jagannath Mandir Pujaris. At his feet kneels Garuda, His eagle-carrier with his hands folded in prayer. Alalanatha's consorts Sri and Bhu also accompany Him. The temple also features small Deities of Sri Krishna's queens Rukmini and Satyabhama. Bas relief of Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva grace the ceiling of one of the halls leading up to the main chamber.
The positioning of the four Vishnu symbols on this ancient Deity seems to indicate that he is Janardana Vishnu or Adi Vishnu - the original from of Lord Vishnu. But unlike Lord Janardana, Alalanatha holds his right hand in the abhaya mudra; granting fearlessness and security to whomever takes his shelter. This mudra is only shown by Krishna Deities and not murtis of Vishnu or Narayana.
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