Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Gundicha Temple at Shrikhetra Puri

Know about Gundicha Temple , Puri

Known as the Garden House of Jagannath, the Gundicha temple stands in the centre of a beautiful garden, surrounded by compound walls on all sides. It lies at a distance of about 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) from the Shrimandira, the main temple of Jagannath. The two temples are located at the two ends of the Bada Danda (Grand Avenue) which is the pathway for the Rath Yatra.

The temple is built using light-grey sandstone and architecturally, it exemplifies typical Kalinga temple architecture in the Deula style. The complex comprises four components: vimana (tower structure containing the sanctum), jagamohana (assembly hall), nata-mandapa (festival hall) and bhoga-mandapa (hall of offerings). There is also a kitchen connected by a small passage. The temple is set within a garden, and is known as "God's Summer Garden Retreat" or garden house of Jagannath. The entire complex, including garden, is surrounded by a wall.

The sanctum features a plain raised platform (4 feet (1.2 m) high and 19 feet (5.8 m) long) made of chlorite called Ratnavedi, where the deities are placed during the annual festivities. The temple has two gates. The western gate is the main temple gate, through which the deities enter the temple during Ratha Yatra. The eastern gate, known as Nakachana gate, is used for the departure of the deities.

Except for the 9-day Rath Yatra when Jagannath is worshipped in Gundicha temple, the temple remains empty the rest of the year. Tourists can visit the temple after paying an entry fee. Foreigners (prohibited entry in the main temple) are allowed inside this temple during this period. The temple is under the Jagannath Temple Administration, Puri - the governing body of the main temple. A small band of servitors maintain the temple.