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Gundicha Temple

Established in the sixteenth Century, Gundicha Temple is situated at the northeastern side of the Jagannath Temple. Gundicha Temple is believed to be the home of Lord Krishna's aunt Goddess Gundicha, the deity of Gundicha Temple. The Temple is known for the divine Rath Yatra celebration which happens in the month of July. As the deities of Jagannath Temple stay here for seven days, the Gundicha Temple witnesses the majority of the devotees visiting the Temple throughout the Rath Yatra celebration. According to the Hindu mythology Goddess Gundicha, the divinity of Gundicha Temple is accepted to be the close relative of Lord Jagannath, Goddess Shubhadra and Lord Balabhadra to which the gods visit throughout the car festival.

Gundicha Temple

The Gundicha Temple is spotted at the middle of one of the excellent arrangements that is encompassed by tremendous compound walls on all of its side. It is also known as the ‘garden house’ of the Lord Jagannath. Located at a distance of 3 km from the world famous Jagannath Temple Gundicha Temple is associated with connected to the Jagannath temple with the broad roads that get topped off totally by the enthusiasts throughout the Cart celebration.

Gundicha Temple Structure

The Temple structure of Gundicha Temple is mostly similar to that of the Kalinga Temple construction style and is completed in the Deulastyle. The Gundicha Temple is built up of light-ash sandstone. The inner part of the Temple has four imperative corners specifically, jagamohana (get together corridor), the vimana (tower structure holding the sanctum), bhoga-mandapa (corridor of offerings) and the nata-mandapa (celebration lobby). The sanctum has a plain raised platform made of chlorite called Ratnavedi which is of 4 feet hight and 19 feet long and is used to place the gods throughout the celebrations all around the year. The Temple has two doors, eastern and western. The eastern door which is otherwise called the Nakachana entryway is utilized for the departure of the gods and the western door is utilized as doorway for the divinities to enter at the time of the Rath Yatra celebrations.

As the Temple is spotted amidst a garden, it is also termed as the "God's Summer Garden Retreat". Gundicha Temple has a kitchen which is joined with the main portion of the Temple by a short passage. The whole structure of the Gundicha Temple as well as the garden is encompassed by enormous dividers. The tallness of the divider is 20 feet and width is 5 feet. The Temple for the most part remains empty all around the year however it gets packed throughout the Rath Yatra. Many devotees and tourists visit the Gundicha Temple throughout that time and worship their loved God Jagannath. The no-Hindu and foreign devotees who are not permitted into the Shreemandir (The principle Jagannath Temple) are permitted to visit the Gundicha Temple throughout this time. The whole Temple and the premises of the Temple of Goddess Gundicha is maintained and controlled by the Jagannath Temple Administration which is also the managing body for the Lord Jagannath Temple.

Legends Related to Shree Gundicha Temple

There are a several legends connected to the Temple and to the seven day stay of the deities of the Jagannath Temple throughout the Ratha Yatra. It is accepted that the monarch of Indradyumna (the fabulous developer of the Jagannath Temple) - after whom the Gundicha Temple is named. Gundicha had a peep at the heavenly image of Jagannath being made by the divine designer Vishwakarma. Awed by the picture, she demanded her spouse fabricating the Temple for the god and beginning the Ratha Yatra. An alternate variant recommends that Jagannath was satisfied with her Temple and guaranteed to visit her house which is currently named as the Gundicha Temple.

An alternate legend that has association with the Temple is that Lord Jagannath (incarnation of God Krishna) heads off to stay for seven days in the Gundicha Temple and he abandons his wife Goddess Lakshmi secured up a store room in the fundamental Jagannath Temple deliberately. While in the Gundicha Temple, he is only surrounded by his gopis, the cow grouping young ladies which are headed by his lover Radha as the Krishna in Vrindavan. The gopis are symbolized by the Temple devadasis. The point when Jagannatha comes back to his primary Temple after his desirous dalliance, Goddess Lakshmi reaches him at the principle Temple door and sprays some supernatural powder on him, which makes him disregard his caper in the Gundicha Temple, and she is quickly rejoined with her spouse in merry affection.

As per the Bhavishya Purana, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is also known to have constructed the Jagannath Astakam, once got vanished. He existed in Puri for a long time and sang bhajans (reverential tunes) and headed sankirtan parades before Jagannath throughout his Ratha Yatra and the Chandan Yatra, along with numerous devotees and Bhagts. It is also said that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to go into an upbeat temperament viewing the god's affection play and dances with euphoria and fainted because of the emotions. Every day, he worshiped Lord Jagannath remaining behind the garudastamba (Pillar of Garuda) with tears streaming down his eyes. With authorization of the ruler, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu once embraced the undertaking of cleaning the Gundicha Temple premises a prior day to the Ratha yatra (this convention is emulated even right up 'til the present time by the devotees of the Gaudiya Vaishnavism). It is accepted that once he was seen entering the Manikotha at Gundicha Temple and was never seen after that. This vanishing has dependably remained an unexplained puzzle as none of the books composed on him have recorded this occasion. It is accepted by the people of Puri that he has consolidated with Lord Jagannath at the Temple.

The Holy Rath Yatra

Consistently the gods of Jagannath Mandir - Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra with the divine wheel Sudarshana are taken out from the Temple premises in an religious and custom parade to their particular chariots. The colossal, colourfully enlivened chariots are drawn by a huge number of enthusiasts on the bada danda, to the stupendous parkway of Gundicha Temple, about two miles away to the North. After a stay for seven days, the gods come back to their residence Srimandira. The king of Puri used to serve by modestly clearing the chariots with a golden broom.

Just one day before the Rath Yatra the Gundicha Temple is religiously purged for lodging the divine beings. Upon the arrival of Rath Yatra the gods are taken in chariots from the principle Temple to Gundicha Temple. All the three gods are tanke in their three great decorated chariots. The chariot of Jagannath is known as the Nandighosha. The chariot Taladhwaja conveys God Balabhadra, and the chariot Darpadalana conveys goddess Subhadra. Before the sunset the three of the chariots reach the Shree Gundicha Temple where the gods stay in the chariots for the entire night and enter the Temple on the second day.

Customs throughout the Rath Yatra at Gundicha Temple

Worshiping the Deities
At Shree Gundicha Temple the deities are offered worshiping by the Brahmin Temple servants instead of the daitaas that worship the Lords in the Main Jagannath Temple. Despite the fact that devadasis work as the agents of Goddess Lakshmi, they offer prayers in the Gundicha Temple in the same way as in the main Temple, while Lakshmi is deserted in a storeroom in the Jagannath Temple. This suggests an alternate connection to the part of the devadasis in the Gundicha Temple. One more unusual characteristic is that the images are spread with bigger amounts of sandalwood paste twice a day in order to keep them cool as is regularly done to the Goddess Gundicha. Throughout the stay of the gods they are enhanced with new ensembles every day.

The Holy Hera Panchami
It is one of the important functions which are commended at the Gundicha Temple throughout the Rath Yatra. This function happens on the fifth day of the Ratha Yatra which is known as Panchami. Hera intends to see and Panchami is the fifth day so this is the way the celebration is named as Hera Panchami. Many devotees who visit the Ratha Yatra Festival attend this holy function. On the Hera Panchami, the angry goddess Lakshmi arrives as Subarna Mahalakshmi, at the Gundicha Temple. She is formally conveyed in a palanquin with gathering of devotees and worshiped by the priests of Gundicha Temple, who take her to the sanctum to meet Jagannath. The spouse and wife situate in the vis-à-vis arrangement on the yard in the sanctum of the Gundicha Temple. On this uncommon event many devotees visit the Temple to have darshan of this astonishing function. Goddess Lakshmi demands him to return home and Jagannath gives his assent by offering her agyan mala (a garland of agreement), which the goddess acknowledges and brings with her while come back to the main Temple at night.

Ratha Bhanga
When returning to the Jagannath Temple the Goddess Lakshmi requests one of her orderlies to harm a piece of Jagannath's chariot, the Nandighosha in order to get relieved of her outrage at being left enough alone at the temple and not being taken on the yatra. This custom is known as the Ratha Bhanga (the breaking of the chariot). This is emulated by her covering up behind a tamarind tree outside the Gundicha Temple. After some time, she escapes to her home Temple in mystery, through a divide way path known as Hera Gohri Lane, as she fears the acts of her.

The Dakshina Moda
The day following the Hera Panchami which is the sixth day of the sacred Rath Yatra the function of Dakshina Moda (turning south) is performed in the Shree Gundicha Temple. The chariots of the divinities which are stopped outside the Temple, confronting the Main Temple door (western entryway) get ready for the return travel, the Bahuda Yatra, and thus are turned to face towards the Jagannath Temple in the southern heading. All the three chariots get stopped close to the Nakachana entryway (eastern door) of the Gundicha Temple through which the gods leave the Temple. It is accepted that the ruler of Lanka, Vibhishana got darshan of Lord Jagannath from far away Lanka on this day. Devotees believe that one can achieve escape from the trap of death and conception by seeing this propitious service.

The Raas-Lila
The ritual of the Dakshina Moda is a symbol which marks the commencement 0f the three day Raas-Lila of Lord Jagannath at the Shree Gundicha Temple. According to the Hindu Mythology Raas-Lila is the night in Vrindavan when Krishna dances along with his cherished Radha and a few gopis. The notice of the Raas-Lila is there in a few Hindu Mythological books, Bhagwat Geeta and the Gita- Govinda, and a lot of such records. The idol of Lord Jagannath is taken to the Rasa mandapa (a Temple corridor) of the Gundicha Temple where poems and songs from the Gita Govinda are sung throughout the 3 days of his stay in the Temple. During the Rasa Lila, the association between Jagannath-Krishna and the gopis is believed through the Gita Govinda verses. In the prior days, the Devadasis sang the verses, which are currently sung by the Temple servitors. Consequently the Vaishnavas consider Shree Gundicha Temple as the Vrindavan throughout Lord Jagannath's stay at the Temple.

Mahaprasad Preparation at Shree Gundicha Temple
The Temple of Lord Jagannath gets a stop in planning of the Mahaprasad (food items that are offered to the gods) throughout their stay at Gundicha Temple. The kitchens of the Gundicha Temple are repaired and prasada gets cooked there to offer to Jagannath. All the food items things that are cooked at the Temple get cooked here with the same customs.

Sandhya Darshan at Shree Gundicha Temple
Sandhya Darshan is the Evening petitions to God offered to all the three divinities of the Jagannath Temple as their last prayer to God in the Gundicha Temple. On this day, as a huge number of devotees gather at the Temple to have darshan of Jagannath. A special form of Mahaprasad is also cooked for the aficionado’s visiting by the Temple on that day.

Bahuda Yatra at Shree Gundicha Temple
After spending the seven long days in the Gundicha Temple, Bahuda Yatra is the return journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra to the Main Temple. The idols of the gods are carried out of the Gundicha Temple through the Nakachana Gate throughout the Pahandi function, on the beats of cymbals and gongs and the sound of conches being blown. Devotees dance various dances such as Odissi and Gotipua on the tune of music played before the chariots, and a few conventional acts are also being performed by the enthusiasts. The gods are then taken in the same chariots in which they arrive, pulled by devotees once again to the fundamental Temple. It is believed to be very auspicious to get an impression of the divinities on their chariots.

Best time to visit Gundicha Temple

The temple remains opened till midnight for the visitors during the Rath Yatra festival and also gets opened early in the morning. It is believed that the Rath Yatra is the best time to visit Gundicha Temple and receive the blessings of the Lord of universe along with other deities. During this time the deities can be seen from very close and the temple of Gundicha also allows foreigners to visit the temple during Rath Yatra, which is banned at the Jagannath Temple.

Gundicha Temple
Shree Gundicha Maa Mandira, Puri,
Odisha 752002

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