Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Jagannath Temple

Wednesday evening Shashi, Vijay and Satya again hit the town, this time with my boss Michael in tow.

First stop was the Jagannath Temple, quite obviously dedicated to Jagannath, who is a form of Vishnu.  You can read a lot more here on wikipedia.

This a very beautiful temple.  When you get close and see that every part of the exterior is hand carved, it's very impressive.  Stepping in to the grounds of the temple, you're very much struck with how peaceful and contemplative it is.  People praying at the different shrines to gods like Lakshmi or Ganesh.  That peace was soon broken however by followers who were in the main altar banging symbols and such.  The symbol playing happened in a very rhythmic, organized manner and very loudly.  To the point that as you walked up the stairs to the altar (inside the shorter of the structures connected by the kites above), it was too loud, at least for me, to get too close.  The intent of the playing, being to wake the gods for prayer.

Once the prayers had completed at the altar, we were able to enter and take a blessing.  Certainly a very enlightening stop on our journey, one that I wish I had some better historical and theological perspective on.

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