Monday, February 24, 2014

Bliss Awaits You Here.

Far from the hustle and bustle of the city of Chennai, the temple complex dedicated to Lord Jagannath and his siblings Balabhadra and Subhadra, is an island of tranquility, and sheer bliss. 

Once upon a time there used to be only one Jagannath temple, located at the original kshetra, Puri in Odisha. Over centuries many princely states built temples for the revered deity at their capitals. Now that the royals are gone, the responsibility of building Jagannath temples at different locations have been assumed voluntarily by the common devotees. The Kanathur temple is one such attempt.

The big compound is very well maintained with a mandap at the entrance, the sanctum sanctorum built in style of Puri original at the centre and lush green lawns and garden plants all around. The Garuda Pillar facing the deities is imposing and beautifully carved. 

There is a small structure dedicated to Kanchi Ganesh on the left of the complex, a statue of Buddha, also on left, and a nice lotus design water tank at the back. Jagannath culture also assimilated the Buddhist philosophy, and it is said that the deity at Puri has the tooth of Buddha hidden in his naval.

The priests are from Odisha and I found them to be very sincere in their worship. The temple can organize various types of pujas or rituals for you at different fees, which are displayed on a board.

Not far from the temple complex is a quiet beach, which I found as peaceful as the temple with no visitors. It looked like a fishing beach with many small boats dotting the place.

The place where you have to take a left turn from the ECRoad if you are coming from Chennai is easy to miss if you do not look for the traffic police signs and bikes there. The turning is near a fish market. Take flowers from here, because they may not be available near the temple. The 150 metres road leading up to the next turn for the temple is crowded, rough and somewhat dirty. Ignore it and press ahead, because what awaits you will leave you cleansed internally.

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