Jagannath Temple: the 12th century edifice
Devotees of Jagannath cult believe Shri Shri Jagannath Mahaprabhu, Lord of the Universe is the supreme solace and saviour of countless devotees around the world. since time immemorial, his monumental and magnificent Shrine at Shri Purusottam-Kshetra, Puri in Odisha is one of the four major Dhamas of India has been a most sacred centre of pilgrimage and worship symbolising and uploading one of the greatest spiritual and cultural heritages of the world.
Even though most Hindu deities that are worshiped are made out of stone or metal, the image of Jagannath is wooden. Every twelve to nineteen years ( Nabakalebara ) these wooden figures are ceremoniously replaced by using sacred trees that have to be carved as an exact replica.
The present temple was built in the 12th century atop its ruins by the progenitor of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva, history reveals.
The temple is famous for its annual Rath Yatra, or chariot festival, in which the three main temple deities are hauled on huge and elaborately decorated temple cars. Since medieval times, it is also associated with intense religious fervor.