Shankha-kshetra: The Holy Dham at Puri Jagannath

BY: SUN STAFF


Jan 20, 2015 — CANADA (SUN) — The first in a seventeen-part series on Sri Jagannath Puri Dham.

Today we begin a serial survey of the 115 transcendental abodes in Puri Dham. The State of Orissa is divided up into four kshetras which represent the paraphernalia of Lord Visnu: His shankha (conch), chakra (disc), gada (mace) and padma (lotus). Puri Dham, the abode of Lord Jagannath, is known as Shankha-kshetra -- a manifestation of the Lord's conch, while Bhubaneswar is Chakra-kshetra, Jajpura is Gada-kshetra, and Konark is Padma-kshetra.

Puri Shankha-kshetra is depicted as shown in the image above, laid out on a grid matching the shape of a right-handed, or Dakshinavarta-shankha. Within and along the edges of this conch are the 115 transcendental abodes of Puri Dham, being temples, shrines, mathas, tanks, trees, and other sacred sites. The area covers approximately 10 square miles, of which 40% is submerged beneath the sea.

At the center of Shankha-kshetra is the abode of Lord Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhardra, who reside in the ancient temple of Jagannath Puri, on a hillock known as Nilagiri, or the Blue Hill. To the west lies the broad end of the shankha, where Lokanath Temple is situated, one of eight Shiva temples in the Holy Dham.

The cone, or apical end of the shankha points to the east, and another Shiva temple is located there, the Nilakantha Temple. The distance between Lokanath and Nilakantha temples is about two miles.

The conch-like shape of Jagannatha Puri is also said to be comprised of seven concentric folds. The first, the innermost fold, is the kshetra's navel, and this marks the place where the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Jagannath, brother Baladeva and sister Subhadra reside.

Lord Jagannatha's temple has nine gates, eight being in the four directions, along two boundary walls, and one existing in the etheric realm. The enormous wall surrounding the main temple complex is known as Meghanada Pacheri. Many streets, or sahi branch out from the temple, running in all directions and leading to the other 114 tirthas, thirthams, etc. in shankha-kshetra.

Following is a list of the 115 transcendental sites located in Puri Shankha-kshetra. We will hope to uncover detailed information about each one of them in the segments to come.


1.Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra & Sudarsan
2. Khetreswari Vimala
3 Mahalaxmi
4. Uttar Durga
5. Bata Mangala
6. Garuda Stamva
7. Bhoga Mandap
8. Kalpabrukhya
9. Rohini Kunda
10. Bata Ganesh
11. Uchsta Ganapati
12. Sri Saraswati Devi
13. Nabagraha
14. Konark Suryadev
15. Padapadma
16. Yagnyabata
17. Angeswar
18. Indranidevi
19. Khetrapala
20. Swana Vairabi
21. Mukteswari
22. Chstrakali
23. Batamarkandeya
24. Katyayani
25. Gopeewara
26. Beda Kali
27. Pataleswara
28. Bhubaneswari
29. Vaikuntheswara
30. Yagnyaswari
31. Isaneswar
32. Sitaia Devi
33. Pakasala
34. Dakhineswara
35. Kundaleswara
36. Ram Chaitanya Temple
37. Baravai Hanuman
38. Nirmalya Hanuman

39. Alaka Batika
40. Chakra Narayan
41. Rameswar
42. Chaturdhama
43. Kanapata Hanuman
44. Niladri Vihari
45. Bavabyeswara
46. Sialilata
47. Koili Vaikuntha
48. Tapaswi Hanuman
49. Survarnakupa
50. Ananda Bazar
51. Devasnana Mandapa
52. Meghanada Prachira
53. Singhadwara (East gate)
54. Aruna Sthamva
55. Badachhata Math
56. Chhauni Math
57. Pejanala
58. Prahari Hanuman
59. Dakhinadwar (South gate)
60. Durgamadhava
61. Mangaleswari
62. Paschimadwar(West gate)
63. Uttardwar (North gate)
64. Sri Lokanath
65. Rameswara
66. Kandunursingha
67. Kandu Asrama
68. Nikumvilabata
69. Harachandi
70. Chamundeswari
71. Banadurga
72. Basheli
73. Kapalmochana
74. Manikarnika Teertha
75. Ghatamangala
76. Vagabati
77. Markandeswara

78. Markandeya Teertha
79. Saptamatruka
80. Alamba Devi
81. Atharnala
82. Makardhwaj Hanuman
83. Vargavi River
84. Mukteswara
85. Bata Mangala
86. Kapoteswara
87. Vilweswara
88. Siddha Hanuman
89. Indradyumna Teertha
90. Nilakantheswara
91. Adinrusingha
92. Gundicha Mandapa
93. Mausima
94. Marchika Devi
95. Charchika Devi
96. Sodasha Putri
97. Narayani
98. Angirasrama
99. Angirabata
100. Dakhina Kali
101. Ugreswarashrama
102. Swetaganga
103. Muktisila
104. Adisankara Pitha
105. Swargadwara
106. Varahi Devi
107. Shyama Kali
108. Bedi Hanuman
109. Chakra Teertha
110. Chakra Narayan
111. Mahodadhi Tirtha
112. Jagannatha Ballava
113. Kashi Biswanatha
114. Visweswari
115. Narendra Sarovar


Puri Dham
Pata-chitra Temple Painting


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