WEAVER'S WORLD / JAGANNATHPURI / PLACES TO VISIT -2
Maa Vimala temple is one of the important Shaktipithas. Those who visit Sri Jagannath temple, must see it. This temple is not so huge in size as Sri Jagannath Temple, but attracts thousands of devotees. The Vimala Temple or Bimala Temple is dedicated to goddess Vimala (Bimala), located within the Jagannath Temple complex in Puri. Vimala is considered to be the Tantric consort of Jagannath and a guardian of the temple complex. Devotees pay respect to Vimala before worshipping Jagannath in the main temple. Food offered to Jagannath does not get sanctified as Mahaprasad until it is also offered to Vimala. The Goddess-oriented festival of Durga Puja in the Hindu month of Ashvin (October) is celebrated for sixteen days at Vimala, culminating in Vijayadashami.
Maa Lakshmi temple is situated near the Jagannath temple (within the temple premises, near the Nabagraha temple). Anybody who visits Sri Jagannath Temple must also visit Lakshmi Temple. Maa Lakshmi is worshipped as the goddess of wealth. There is a beautiful shrine of Mahalakshmi inside Puri Jagannath temple in the right uppermost corner. Unlike the main temple, this temple is comparatively quiet and clean, the marble floors invite you to sit and meditate here. The queue is small and orderly, so one can have quiet prolonged darshan of goddess Mahalakshmi. Three types of sweets are sold – they are part of the Mahaprasad, in the corner of the corridor. The Panda gives red bangles and Sindoor to the married ladies.
Swargadwar, in Hindi, literally means “Door to Heaven”. Located just 2 km from Shri Jagannath Temple, it is a secluded beach, unaffected by the modern cultural influence and hence maintains its sacred nature. According to the legend, it was the bathing place of Sri Chaitanya Dev and his devotion was rewarded as he merged into Lord Brahma and went to heaven. Thus, devotees have come to believe that taking a holy dip in its waters opens the gateway to heaven. The beach attracts a number of Hindu pilgrims, who take bath at a place named ‘Mahadadhi’ on the beach. Swargadwar beach also attracts non-religious tourists given its magnificent locales and serene atmosphere.
This is a Lord Vishnu temple, a little far away from the Jagannath temple. When Lord Jagannath is on Anasar or something like gone to his Aunt's place then devotees come to this place to worship Lord Vishnu in his other form. It is a really nice place with nice Abhada to eat.
Alarnath temple is situated in Brahmagiri. If one visits this place during December then the hands of Alarnath was covered because there is a myth stating that he must be feeling cold. There is a beautiful Mahalakshmi and Shiva shrine inside the temple. There is a rock, which has the body marks of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Constructed during 1129-1132 by Chodaganga Dev in Puri, this temple is situated in Brahamagiri which is around 20 kms from Puri city. Mostly crowded for a month prior to Lord Jagannath’s Ratha Yatra where the devotees visiting the temple have a darshan of lord Vishnu. This temple is very old.
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