Puri Estate

PuriDynasty: Ganga Vanshi
Emblem:  Chhati and two elephants 
Area: 1528sq miles
Maharaja title: 1817
Ascended: 1956

Longitude: 19 degree 28 and 20degree 26 inch North and
Latitude: 84 degree 56’ and 86 degree 25’
District Boundary: North and North East by Cuttack,  South East and South by Bay of Bengal, West District of Ganjam, North West Nayagarh, Khandapara, & Ranapur*
Present Status: District HQ of Puri District
Distance from Bhubaneswar: 67 Km ( approx) on NH 316


Puri,  one of the most ancient city of Odisha is regarded for its religious importance. Some researchers like A.P. Pattnaik in his book "The Early Voyagers of the East" has linked the city to the time of world's first modern civilisation i.e., Mesopotamia or modern Egypt. He stated that "Puri was probably an ideal place for a port and natural harbor almost five thousand years ago and continued as such for a very long time. As there are  few place-names that seem identical to the names of Sumerian city-states like Ur and Erech etc, around the present town of Puri, it is assumed that this was an early settlement of Sumerians."

Further he has compared the architecture of Puri Jagannath temple with Sumerian's religious establishments like Ziggurat and tried to prove that Puri had a civilisation during the Sumerian establishments also.

The great Epic of Hinduism The Mahabharata also named this place on the Bay of Bengal for its sanctity which was attached to its high stone altar or Ratna Vedi. It is noteworthy that this place is not other than Puri.

This religious importance once again gained momentum during 8th century on the arrival of Aadi Guru Sankaracharya. He sojourned at Birajakshetra- Jaj Nagar, the then capital of Odisha to trace out Lord Jagannath. But it is informed by the inhabitants of Puri that before 150 years of his arrival the lord was displaced and covered secretly in Sonepur beneath a Banyan tree. Historian W.W. Hunter says it was the first historical appearance of Lord Jagannath in the year 318 AD. The priests fled with the sacred image and left the empty city to Red Arm ( Rakta Bahu). The pious king Jajati Keshari-I drove out the foreigners from Odisha and brought back the sacred log at Puri again.

With the effort of Aadi Guru the idol was rescued but not in a condition for re-installation. Madalapanji, the chronicle of events at Puri, referrs it to the period of Raktabahu's invasion. Shankaracharya searched for the sacred Brahma and his disciple Bharti Acharya found it from the bank of  Ganduki River in Nepal under the guidance and order of Aadiguru. It was then re-installed at Puri and being worshipped with the Mantras made by Aadiguru.

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