A well-known pilgrimage site, Jajpur is a district of Odisha. This place has a number of archaeological ruins as well as monuments of the olden times, when it was the capital of the Kalinga Kingdom. It is a great pilgrimage destination as the district is dotted with a number of temples, each having a different story to tell. Listed below are some of Jajpur’s best places.
1. Dasaswamedha Ghat
Located on the banks of River Baitarani, the Dasaswamedha Ghat is a very holy spot which was built under the reign of Jajti Kesari. It attracts thousands of pilgrims every year. The water here is regarded as sacred and they say that taking a dip here during any auspicious date in the Hindu calendar brings about a lot of positivity in life. Baruni Snana is an important festival of the ghat when Hindus from all over the country come here to take a bath in the holy waters. This event is usually held during the beginning of the year in the months of February and March.
2. Jagannath Temple
Another important holy place located on the banks of River Baitarani, the Jagannath temple is nothing less than a wonder. Surprisingly, we do not know anything about the origin or construction of the temple apart from the fact that it is a very old one. The architectural style of the temple speaks about the era it might have been constructed in. However, no one has been able to find any solid proof of its inception. This is one of the most famous temples of Jajpur. It has many stories and myths revolving around it. It is believed that the last Avatara of Vishnu would come to this temple, take the sword and destroy the evil in the society. This would mark the end of ‘Kalyug’ or the modern era. A number of devotees can be seen here throughout the day and throughout the year. You will find people coming here during any given time of the year.
3. Gokarneswar Temple
Gokarneswar Temple is located on the banks of River Brahmani, which is considered as one of the sacred rivers of India. It has a link with the great epic of Mahabharata. They believe that the famous five Pandava brothers had come to the banks of this river to pay homage to their ancestors. Being a sacred river, they declared that this is a great place to carry out ancestral rituals. That is how the temple came into existence.
Chhatia is where the Jagannath temple is situated. This temple attracts the highest number of people. People say that it is the second Shreekhetra of Odisha. Chhatia Bata is another famous temple of the region. This temple has a really old banyan tree rooted to its complex. A number of stories and predictions revolve around this temple and the local people have a firm believe in the predictions written in the Malika which says, “On a day when all Living animals and Human will die and fish will play at the steps of Puri temple”.
Ratnagiri is a famous Buddhist religious spot of Jajpur located near the Udaigiri and Khandigiri caves. The architectural style of the temple seems to hint towards the fact that it was built during the rule of Gupta Dynasty in India. The temple ages back to the 6th century AD and seems to have been built for the Mahayana sect of Buddhism. This temple stands as a mark of how Buddhism was spreading in India during those times because of the patron rulers. The temple has numerous amusing sculptures of Buddhism placed strategically throughout the complex.
If you are religious person, visiting this religious district must already be on your ‘must-visit’ places list. The history and culture of the district would not just leave you mesmerized but would also give you an insight into the rich culture of India. People not much into religion visit this district for the sole reason of observing and appreciating the traditions of the country.
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