It’s a fact that temples were constructed in the ancient days using science and technology which are even unknown to modern day architects. It remains a wonder how magnificently these were built with so much accuracy without the use of any technology. In fact, there are some hidden mysteries in many of the temples. While some are being scientifically proven there are some mysteries which make the scientists awestruck. They are unable to solve these mysteries but also at the same time unable to deny their existence.

We will be discovering about one such famous temple in India. In fact, there are a lot of mysteries on how this temple was built and about the idols inside it. Before we see in detail about these, let us explore the other mysteries in this temple which have challenged the laws of many fields like engineering, architecture, geography etc..

Curious ,isn’t it? Here are they:

Mysteries in This Temple

  • Birds do not fly over this temple

When we look atop any temple, it’s a natural sight to see flocks of birds flying around. But in this temple there is no sight of birds, the reason of which is still unknown. Due to this even aeroplanes are banned from flying above this area. It will be apt to call this temple a ‘natural no fly zone‘.

  • Where is the shadow of the main dome of the temple?

It is obvious that any tall structure will have its shadow casted on the ground. But this temple structure casts no shadow. It is still an architectural marvel!

  • Flag flies in the opposite direction of the wind

It’s a universal fact that any object flies in the direction of the wind but anyone who knows about this temple will still be wondering if it is true all the time! The reason, the flag flying at the top of this temple, will fly in the opposite direction of the wind. 

Also every day the priest climbs atop the temple to change this flag. It is believed that if this ritual is stopped, the temple will be closed for 18 years. It has been in practise for over 1800 years now.

  • Mystery around the the Sudarshana Chakra

Sudarshana Chakra is the weapon of Lord Vishnu. A Sudarshana chakra which is made up of  8 alloys and has a circumference of 36 feet is mounted at the top of the temple. The most fascinating fact is, irrespective of the direction you will be facing, the Sudarshana chakra always faces you.

  • A challenge to geographical law?

It’s a geographical law that during day time the breeze blows from the sea to the land and during night time it blows from the land to the sea. However here the opposite of that law happens where during day time the breeze blows from the land to the sea and during night time it blows from the sea to the land.

  • An engineering marvel

The main entrance of the temple is called ‘Singhadwara (Simhadwara) or lion’s gate‘. The sound waves which are heard cease to stop once you enter the Singhadwara until you are still inside the temple. It will be heard again only after you step out of the temple.

  • Mysteries even in the scared food (prasad) offered in the temple

This temple houses one of the biggest kitchens. Everyday the count of devotees varies from 2000 to 20000 per day. Everyday the amount of food cooked remains the same. But not even a morsel of rice gets wasted. Also the pots used for cooking are not reused here. They will be broken the same day it’s used and new pots will be used the next day.

  • The cooking pot mystery

Food is prepared using earthen pots. There are 7 pots mounted one above the other placed over a hearth. The topmost pot gets heated first while the bottommost pot will be the last to be heated which is still an enigma.

Some of you might have already guessed about this temple while some of you are just awed by these mysteries and curious to know about this temple. Hold on! It doesn’t stop here. The stories and facts below on the idols and how the temple was formed will just blow your mind away.

Let the suspense be broken here, it is Lord ‘Sree Jagannath temple’ located in ‘Puri’ city of Odisha.

About the Temple

Of the several famous temples located in Odisha, the most prominent one is ‘Sree Jagannath Temple”. Lord Krishna, the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu is the main deity in this temple and is worshipped as ‘Sree Jagannath’’. The speciality of this temple is that Lord Krishna blesses the devotees with his elder brother ‘Balaram‘ and younger sister ‘Subadra‘ unlike in other temples where he is seen with his consorts.

Beginning of a New Era

It was time for Lord Krishna to reach his heavenly abode from this human incarnation. As destined , he was taking rest in a forest near ‘Bhalka‘ located in Gujarat. A hunter mistook Lord Krishna to be a deer and killed him. Lord Krishna was then cremated as per Hindu traditions.

While his entire body turned into ashes, his heart alone was still alive (yes you read it right!).

It was tied to a log of wood and thrown into the sea.

History of the Temple

There was a king named Indradima who ruled Puri . He had a weird dream that while walking along the beach, he saw a log of wood. There came a divine voice which asked him to make idols out of the log. He woke up from his sleep and went to the beach. To his surprise his dream came true as he did see a log of wood floating in water . He then brought it to his palace.

‘Viswakarma‘ who is known as the ancient architect took the form of an old man and came to meet him . He told him that there was Lord Krishna’s heart inside the log of wood and that he will make idols out of the log of wood and place the heart inside it safely.(The log of wood had travelled from the Arabian sea in the west coast to the Bay of Bengal in the east coast).

King Indradima was overwhelmed to hear this and offered to follow his instructions. Viswakarma said he would need a chamber for him where he would work relentlessly for 21 days without food or water. He instructed that nobody should enter the chamber before the completion of 21 days. If anyone disobeyed him he will cease to make the idols. The king instructed likewise to everyone in the kingdom. Fourteen days passed by when the guards informed the king that they didn’t hear the hammer sound. The queen insisted that the chamber door be opened to see what is happening inside. Though the king was reluctant he obliged and opened the door. Upon opening the door, they could see the three idols left unfinished. A divine voice was heard saying as they didn’t fulfil their promise the idols were left incomplete . Upon hearing this, the king and the queen cried bitterly but the voice asked them to place the idols as such for worship and that it was all destined to be so . This is the reason why there are no palms in the hands for all the three idols in this temple.

Even today the idols are replaced with new idols once in 12 years .This festival is called ‘Nabakalebara‘ which means ‘changing of one’s physical form’ .The head priest of the temple conducts this ceremony . He is blindfolded and will be wearing gloves during this ceremony. It is believed that Krishna’s heart emanates a blinding sacred blue light which shouldn’t be seen with naked eyes . The temple premises are shut and the electricity supply to the entire city is cut off for an hour.

Scientific Evidence Which Proves Lord Krishna’s Heart is Similar to an Arc Reactor:

This is one of the most interesting topics .While some say that these are just stories, there are some facts which prove these, as mentioned below.

  • It’s believed that Lord Krishna’s heart has been preserved for over 5000 years now.
  • There is a theory that it is not made of flesh or muscle. Its an ancient device which can generate power.
  • In general the idols of all Hindu Gods are made of stones and metals. But in this temple , the idols are made of wood. We all know that wood is a poor conductor of electricity. Since Krishna’s heart generates power, it will electrocute if the idols are made of metals.
  • This device will vibrate when exposed to any form of light including the sunlight, the reason why electricity is shut down when the heart is transferred to the new idol.
  • This is also the reason why the person who transfers the heart blindfolds his eyes and also wears gloves.
  • Since this ‘heart’ or the ‘ancient device’ disintegrates the wood eventually, the idols are replaced once in 12 years.
  • It is believed that years back, a person actually saw this heart and described it as containing a silvery liquid like mercury. It rotated like a chakra(wheel) and vibrated with a huge sound when exposed to light.
  • The above explanation has its similarities with arc reactors.(Arc reactors are not new terms ,thanks to the movie ‘Iron Man’. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA has designed an ARC reactor a few years back).

Well, interesting, isn’t it? Let’s see more on the rituals in detail.

Few More Interesting Rituals or Rather Mysteries

Are you interested in reading about how Lord Krishna’s soul gets transferred and what happens to the old idols? Here you go.

There are several rituals (performed only by the descendants of specific families) associated with ‘Nabakalebara’’ as listed below

  • The first one is to ‘identify the holy trees’ from which the idols have to be made. There are several specifications for selecting the tree for each of the idols.
  • Next while ‘cutting the trees’, first the tree should be touched by golden axe, followed by silver axe then by iron axe. Then 108 names of the Lord are to be chanted. The logs are then taken to the temple in trunks and kept in a place called ‘Koili Baikuntha‘.
  • Then the ‘carvings of the deities’ are carried by descendants of certain families who know the rituals and measurements of each idol. The carvings take place in a closed enclosure for 21 days during which the carvers don’t consume even water.
  • The ‘soul transfer ritual’ is the most important ritual wherein all the new deities are taken inside the inner sanctum of the temple and kept facing the old idols. Everyone is forbidden from entering the temple. The person (who again is a descendant of a certain family) will be fasting and meditating the whole day inside the temple. The miracle will happen during the night time. The person who will transfer the ‘soul(heart)’ should blindfold his eyes. He will stand in front of the old deity. Something will drop into his hands after which he turns towards the new deity. It then disappears from his hands. It’s Krishna’s heart that falls into his hands from the old deity and that gets fixed into the new deity. The person who does this, experiences a divine feeling which they say cannot be expressed in words. During this ritual, electricity will shut down not only inside the temple but also in the entire city of Puri. This ritual took place recently in the year 2015.
  • The old deities are then carried and buried in the koili baikuntha before dawn. There are separate graves for the three idols. It is a mystery that after 12 years when they dig that place to bury the deities again to be replaced with new ones, the old deities that were buried 12 years back will not be seen.

These facts go on to prove that there are so many interesting facts associated with this temple. Some have mythological evidence while some are scientifically proven. Whatever be it, there is no denial that this temple is definitely one of the ‘Temple of mysteries’.

By Jayashree Sriram, Chennai

8 COMMENTS

  1. The article is well structured with complete information. Most of the information was new atleast to me .
    The author has given importance to minute details and has a special skill for writing covering all the points.

  2. The article is well structured with complete information. Most of the information was new atleast to me .
    The author has given importance to minute details and has a special skill for writing covering all the points.

  3. AFFECTIONATE grandaughter sow.JAYASHRI SRIRAM, NY asirvathams to you.I read the entire episode written by you
    u about the TEMPLE IN PURI for LORD SRI KJAGANNATH AND HIS BROTHER SRI BALARAM.WHAT A GREAT NARATION.VERY INTERESTING TO GO THROUGH FACTS .I AM A RESIDENT OF TUTICORIN BUT STAYING WITH MY TWO SONS AT CHENNAI DUE TO OLD AGE.I WOULD WISH TO SHARE ALL YOUR WRTINGS THROUGH MMY G MAIL. BY YHE BY MY NAME IS R.SAMIKULATHU AIYER RETIRED OFFICER STATE BANK OF INDIA.MY EMAIL IS samikutti1938@gmail.com
    I request you to send informations regarding your researches made about religious places made if any through my email.I am residing at Nanganallur Chennai. For the time being I am in my ancestral house at 168 New colony Thoothukudi. Telephone no (0461) 233 21 55 . If your time permits you you may call me.The article was very interesting with full of information collected by you after great strain in your life.best of luck long life robust health and all excellent things inder the ‘SUN’ AFFECTIONATE REGARDS RSK

  4. That is a wonderful piece of literature that the author has given to the next few generations to ponder about. With no birds flying or no flights moving over the temple, Puri Jagannath temple, one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites of India, poses a number of such interesting questions that may take one’s lifetime to analyze. Leave alone exploring the reasons for such nature-defying things that one may witness about the temple, even knowing how many more such mysteries are yet to be unraveled would prove a daunting task….true that Krishna ‘is the beginning..the middle and the end of creation’…Jai Shree Krishna

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