Temple History

jagannath (or Jagannatha) meaning “Lord of the Universe”, is a deity worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists mainly in the Indian states Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Gujarat, Assam, Manipur and Tripura and by Hindus in Bangladesh. Jagannath is considered a form of Vishnu[2] or his avatar Krishna by the Hindus. Jagannath is worshipped as part of a triad on the “Ratnavedi” (jewelled platform) along with his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra. The icon of Jagannath is a carved and decorated wooden stump with large round eyes and with stumps as hands, with the conspicuous absence of legs. The worship procedures, practices, sacraments and rituals of Jagannath do not conform with those of classical Hinduism. It is made of wood, which is an exception to common Hindu iconographic deities of metal or stone. The origin and evolution of Jagannath worship, as well as iconography, is unclear and has been subject to intense academic debate. Jagannath lacks a clear vedic reference and is also not a member of the traditional Dashavatara concept or the classical Hindu pantheon,though in certain Oriya literary creations, Jagannath has been treated as the Ninth avatar, by substituting Buddha.