Balasore gets a Jagannath temple

Balasore: Odisha’s Balasore city now boasts a Jagannath Temple on the lines of the one in Puri. The temple has come up in a three-acre area with the main tower rising above the inner sanctum that houses the deities.

Built by the diversified Emami Group at a cost of about Rs.17 crore, the temple at Balagopalpur will be thrown open for public viewing on Sunday.

The temple in Balasore, famous for Chandipur beach and as the site of ballistic missile defence programmes, has been designed by noted architect and sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra.

With eight wheels carved on either side, the temple appears to be built on a giant chariot.

“The essence of this temple is that Lord Jagannath is riding on a chariot. The belief is that if one sees the lord riding on the chariot then he attains ‘moksha’,” said Padma Vibhushan awardee Mohapatra.

The complex comprises five temples – Lord Jagannath built over an area of 4,300 square feet, Lord Shiva, Maa Bimala, Goddess Laxmi, Lord Ganesh and Sankat Mochan Hanuman built in an area of 380 square feet each.

Much like the original Puri temple, the deities of Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra are housed in the main temple and are made from sacred Neem logs.

A chief attraction of the temple is the Pattachitras- the traditional painting of Odisha with application of rich colours, creative motifs and designs, and portrayal of simple themes, mostly mythological in depiction.

The roofs and inner walls of the temple have been painted with the exquisite art of Pattachitras of the popular themes like ‘Krishna Lila’ – enactment of Jagannath as Lord Krishna displaying his powers as a child, ‘Dasaavatara’ – the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu and different forms of lord Jagannath.