Traditional craftsmen preserve the intricate ancient art of making rathas. Who are they and how do they work separately yet together to build these engineering & aesthetic marvels?
Jagannatha might be the ideal deity for millions of his devotees around the globe, but his one wife is not too impressed. The divine husband and wife have a heated argument after the Ratha Jatra.
The extended family Of Jagannatha
Jagannatha has a brother, a sister, two wives, an uncle and an aunt; but no father or mother. All about the Odia gods and their elaborate families in local belief.
Curing A God: The Secret Of Anasara
Jagannatha bathes only once an year, and immediately afterwards, falls sick with fever. He lives inside a secret chamber. What actually happens inside nobody knows exactly.
Fine pigment of sacred depiction
On the full moon day of the month of Jyestha, something peculiar happens – a god falls ill. For the 15 days of his sickness, a painting substitutes him. Therein lies the origin of the ancient Pattachitra art of Odisha.
A God’s Mother : Karama
It was when the King Nrupa Keshari ruled over ancient Odisha. Historians think that the years are 852–857. Karama, the old Marathi woman lived in one of Puri’s mutts. It had been a long time since she’d been there. She had come to Puri to search for her missing husband and look at Jagannatha, but hadn’t […]
Missionaries and Jagannatha
I recently came across a book called ‘The Wesleyan Juvenile Offering’. Multiple editions of this book are on Google Books, in case you would like to have a look. Curiously, there’s a bit about Jagannatha and the Dola Jatra of Puri. Without further ado, here’s what he says. Note that the author hasn’t actually said anything […]
Jagannatha has many Besas (special attires), somewhere around thirty. Some of them are done on a daily basis. Others are done on a special day each year. Yet others are done based on specific astronomical conjunctions- in which case the Besa may be done every five years or every ten years. By this point, we have only three […]
The Elephant Attire
Every year on the full moon day of the Odia month of Jyestha, the Jagannatha triad come out of the temple’s inner sanctum for the annual Snana Jatra. After the ritual bath, the deities are dressed in the Gajanana/Hati Besa, the elephant attire. The story behind this costume has been recounted in the ancient text of Dardhyata […]
Price of a Paan
A millionaire wants to offer a single food worth a lakh, but a single paan ends up being too costly for him to bear.
At the Break of Dawn
How the ancient temple of Jagannatha wakes up and springs to activity each morning.