Inside the Jagannath Temple
The Jagannath temple spread across an area of 18618 square kilometers encompasses within its premises around forty small temples and numerous other deities. The temple complex is flanked by two rectangular enclousers/walls. The outer enclosure known as the Meghnath Prachira is around 665×640ft while the inner enclosure known as the Kurma Bedha rises to a height of 412×315 feet.
Eastern Gate: Known also as the Singhdwara, the eastern gate of the temple is the main gate of the temple in the sense that people enter into the temple from this gate. Two large statues of lions carved out of sandstone, symbolizing Dharma, stand guard to the temple in this gate. Just in front of the gate stands the magnificent Aruna Sthamba, a monolithic shaft 33ft and 8 inches high with an image of Lord Aruna – the Charioter of Sun God. The images of Hanuman, Radha Krishna and Ganesh in the left and those of Narasimha, Hanuman and Patitapabana in the right adorn the chamber adjoining the Singhadwar.The idol of Lord Patitatapaban,infact a replica of Lord Jagannath was installed by Raja Ramachandra Dev II to enable Non Hindu devotees to have a glimpse (Darshan) of the Lord without entering the temple.
Southern Gate: The Ashwadwar symbolizing Karma forms the Southern gate of the Jagannath temple and it is five steps above the road in front. Towards the right side of the steps, a huge figure of Hanuman has been installed. The door is supposed to be a better entrance for the worshippers of Tantra.
Western Gate: The Byaghradwara forms the western gate of the temple and lies four steps above the road .There are two small figures of tiger placed at both sides of it symbolizing Moksha/Liberation.
Northern Gate: Known as Hastidwar or the Elephant Gate, small figures of two elephants made of stone are seen standing at both side of the gate. The upper door-frame depicts the nine planets in usual Orissan style. Local people have named this gate as chemenidwar, because large number of house-bats staying on it.
Inner Enclosure : On entering the temple premises through the Singha Dwar after crossing the gate chamber, one immediately reaches the 22 steps that takes one to the temple enclosure. These 22 steps are known as Baisi Pahacha in Oriya.
Inner Enclosure of Jagannath temple
Upon ascending the 22 stairs one reaches the temple enclosure. There are many temples constructed well inside the enclosure. These are mentioned below:
Kasi Viswanath Temple: The Kashi Vishwanath temple lies just to the immediate left of the Baisi Pahacha(22 steps).The temple is presided by Lord Shiva and it is customary to have a darshan of Lord Shiva and worship Him before proceeding on to have a view of Lord Jagannath.
Ramachandra Temple: A small temple of Lord Shri Ram lies adjoining to the Kashi Vishwanath temple. Adorned here are the images of figures of Lord Rama, Lakshma, Sita and Hanuman. Adjoining to this temple are the images of Abhaya Nrisimha and Sidha Vinayak in a small temple. .
With this, the inner temple compound begins. The compound is comprised of different temples, kitchen and Anand Bazar.
Agneyswar Temple: The Agneyswar temple lies to the left of the inner enclosure. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Agneyswar. The Lord is popularly believed to be the guardian deity of Kurma Bedha – The inner enclosure/wall.
Satyanarayan Temple: The image of white robed Lord Vishnu is installed on the southern side of Kurma Bedha and named as Satyanarayan. This image of Lord Satyanarayan is carved in black marble stone.
Kalpabata : A huge Banyan tree with history dating back to the Puranic times lies in the inner enclosure and is known as the Kalpabata. It is commonly believed that all the wishes of the devotee made under the tree are fulfilled.
Kalpa Ganesh Temple: A Ganesh temple situated just under the Kalpabata is known as the Kalpa Ganesh.The image carved in white marble stone is popularly believed to be the fulfiller of wishes of those devotees who chant the Bija Mantra of Ganesh for 108 times here.
Sarbamangala Temple: An important place of worship for tantric practices, the Sarbamangala Temple is situated just at the backside of the Kalpa Ganesh temple.
Panchu Pandab Temple: The Panchu Pandav temple has been constructed as a memoir to the visit of The Pandavas to this place which according to some ancient Oriya scriptures happened during their Vanvaas. Five Phallans/Lings of Lord Shiva were installed variously in five different temples by them as Lokanath, Yameswar, Kapalamochan and Nilakanth & Markandeswar. The temple of Markandeswar is the largest.
Ananta Basudeb Temple: In this temple the image of Anant or Basudeb is being worshipped here.
Bajreswari Temple: Ma Bajreswari, the Sakti of Indra, who is popularly known as Indrani also finds her place in the temple enclosure.She is worshipped in the Brajeswari Temple.