Puri is among the most important pilgrimages in India, for Hindus. The Jagannath Temple is considered to be the home of the Lord Vishnu in the Kalyuga and several mentions about this temple are found in the Puranas and the Upanishads, which are the holiest texts of the Hindu religion.
The city of Puri is marked with hundreds of temples of Lord Vishnu where he is worshipped in hundreds of forms and reincarnations. All these temples are important in their own way and have a mythological story related to their origins. I was deeply engrossed by these beautiful stories and felt excited to know more about these temples.
One of these many temples in Puri is specifically important. The Chakratirtha Temple located towards the northern part of Puri and 3 km away from the temple of Lord Jagannath is dedicated to the Nrusingha incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
The three main deities worshipped at this historic temple are the Abhaya Nrusingha, The Chakra Nrusingha and the Laxmi Nrusingha. The Laxmi Nrusingha form is considered to be Lord Jagannath himself. The repeated occurrence of three guardian deities in the temples of Puri is not a coincidence by any means. It is considered in Hindu mythology that the origin of all energy and the entire universe is from three Gods viz. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
It is also considered that the holy town of Jagannath Puri begins with the Chakratirtha Temple as this is considered to be the place where the holy log of wood out of which the holy idol of Lord Jagannath is made first touched the land of Orissa at Chakratirtha. It is popularly known the Chakra is the weapon of Lord Vishnu. The temple has a beautiful and extravagant architecture.
The most striking features are the large Chakra idol which is worshipped at the Chakratirtha Temple and the beautiful idol of Lord Vishnu in the middle of the Sanctorum which are placed over the Chakra. The architecture of the temple is breathtaking and was another reason for my visit to the holy town of Chakratirtha. The large Chakra is considered to originally belong to the Jagannath Temple and it is believed that a cyclone flew it away to Chakratirtha.