- By Aishwarya Javalgekar
But first let me give you a short introduction. Jagannath is an important deity of Orissa. The Jagannath temple in Puri is also the abode of his siblings, Baladeva and Subhadra. These three deities are carried in three enourmous chariots during the Rath Yatra.
The famous Puri Rath Yatra (Chariot Festival) was held this July in Orissa. As I was reading up on the festival, I came across a very interesting image.
|A conch shaped map of Puri's places of worship|
According to the article I read, the region of Puri is shaped like a conch, and is called Shankha-kshetra. Similarly Bhubaneshwar is called Chakra-kshetra and Konark is named Padma-kshetra, all representing attributes of the Hindu god Vishnu.
As you can see in the picture, the temple of Jagannath stands at the heart of the conch, which acts like a map of Puri itself. Around the temple are numerous temples, shrines, trees and other religious sites. There are approximately 115 such sacred spots scattered around the Jagannath temple, connected to the temple through a network of roads like a spiderweb.
I am not sure if the places drawn on the image are to scale. It is nevertheless a beautiful
visual of the Shankha-kshetra.
If you want to know more about the Rath Yatra, you can read our article here.