Friday, April 5, 2019

Shakti Pitha of Jagannath Tample Goddess Vimala

Puri holds a prominent place as a Hindu Pilgrimage site. With Lord Jagannath residing here, Puri attracts a lot of ardent devotees from all over the world to seek the blessings of Lord Jagannath. However, Puri is not just one among the Char Dhams, but it is also regarded as an abode of Hindu Goddess Vimala, and therefore is highly regarded as Shakti Pitha.
Who is Goddess Vimala?
Goddess Vimala is regarded as tantric consort of Lord Jagannath and is therefore believed to be another form of Goddess Laxmi. It is believed that she guards the temple complex and devotees should pay visit to Goddess Vimala before seeking blessings of Lord Jagannath.
The importance of Goddess Vimala becomes instantly visible by the tradition of temple, which is based on an age-old legend- Food offered to Jagannath does not get sanctified as Mahaprasad until it is also offered to Vimala.

The temple of Goddess Vimala is located in the south-west corner of the inner enclosure of the Jagannath temple complex and on the western corner of the tower of Jagannath, next to the sacred pond Rohini kunda. Facing towards east, the temple is constructed of sandstone and laterite in typical Deua style of architecture.

Significance as Shakti Pitha
The Vimala Temple is considered to be one of  the most Shakti Pithas. The Shakti Pithas are the most sacred temples dedicated to Hindu Goddesses, and are ainly identified with Goddess Durga and Goddess Parvati.

“In Goddess-oriented worship, Vimala (Bimala) is regarded as the presiding goddess of the Purushottama (Puri) Shakti Pitha. Jagannath, a form of the god Vishnu/Krishna (Krishna is generally regarded as an avatar of Vishnu), is worshipped as the Pitha’s Bhairava. This is a departure from the usual tradition of Bhairava as a form of Shiva. So, in this temple complex, Vishnu–one of the Hindu trinity – is equated with Shiva, another of the trinity; this is interpreted to convey the oneness of God. In this regard, Vimala – generally associated with Shiva’s consort – is also considered as Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu. Conversely, Tantrics consider Jagannath as Shiva-Bhairava, rather than a form of Vishnu.”

History of The Temple Complex
The present structure is believed to date back to 9th century, with the central icon dating back to 6th Century CE. Based on the architecture of the temple it seems to build under Eastern Ganga Dynasty. However, there are indications that a shrine would have been situated before the present structure, which somehow got destroyed and it’s the renovated version of the shrine. At some places, like the sculptures, especially the parshvadevatas (attendant deities), as well as the background slab of the central icon, reflect the Somavashi style and may be part of the original temple, on whose ruins the new temple was constructed.

Those were the key features and interesting facts of Vimala Temple, situated in Jagannath Temple. Make sure to seek Goddess’s blessings while in holy town of Puri and stay tuned with Hotel Holiday Resort for more such updates of abode of Lord Jagannath.


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