The Indian and international trade analysts, along with the tourists, have always been mesmerized by the mysteries that surround the Jagannath Temple of Puri. Undoubtedly, the Jagannath Temple is the USP of religious tourism in Odisha. Critics of this temple have their own views that the priests on duty are more like salespeople or the pilgrimage is more commercialized nowadays. The atheist residing in you may cast off the transcendent facts as mere folklore, but the devotee in you cannot deny the feeling of amazement you feel when you visit this famous Sun Temple.
The Ratha Yatra
In the olden days, the Ratha Yatra was conducted with two sets of three chariots each. When the deities had to meet their mausi (maternal aunt), they used to travel in the first set of chariots till the river that used to flow between Shrimandira and the Gundicha temple. Then, after crossing the river, they used to board another set of chariots to reach the Gundicha Temple. The present-day mystery has it that when the procession of the chariots is going on, the convoy automatically comes to a halt in front of Gundicha Temple.
The changing of idols
After every twelve years, the priests bury the old idols below the new idols. The mystery surrounding the former statues states that they degenerate on their own. Moreover, until the task gets done, the new idols are kept under the masks.
Nothing can fly over the Jagannath Temple
No one knows the reason behind it, but nothing can fly over the premises of the temple including birds and airplanes. No explanation from science has been presented to explain this fact.
The breeze from the sea
In other areas of the Odisha state, during the morning and afternoon, the breeze flows from the sea to land. During the evening, the opposite of this process occurs. However, when you are in Puri, the direction of the flow of breeze is opposite.
The massive chakra
Considering the weight of the gigantic one-ton chakra installed on the Gopuram of Jagannath Temple, it is unimaginable the way it would have been fixed on its location at the height of twenty feet 2,000 years ago. The engineering techniques used in those times are still a wonder for us. It is said that the Chakra faces you every time no matter the direction you pick to stand.
Even the cooking style of the prasadam in the temple is a mystery for the pilgrims. The priests use seven pots kept on top of each other to cook the prasadam. And the secret has it that the prasadam in the topmost utensil is prepared first, followed by the lower pot henceforth.
No matter the direction of the breeze flowing around the temple, the flag installed on top of the temple always flaps in the reverse direction. The priest has to climb the 45 stories of the temple and change the flag every day. This ritual of changing the flag goes as far as 1800 years. It is said that if the flag is kept unchanged, the temple has to stay shut for 28 years.
It is not easy to understand and believe in all these mysteries, but there is no denying the fact that these folklores have been transcending down to us generation after generation. Whether you are a critic or a believer, you must go to the Jagannath Temple in Puri at least once in your lifetime to experience the marvels of this mesmerizing place.