Jagannath Temple at Baligaon

in

BY: SUN STAFF - 1.4 2022

Lord Jagannath

By Dr. Saroj K. Panda

Baligaon is situated in the Teisipur Gram Panchayat area under Pipli Block of Puri District. It is 33 kms. away from Puri as well as Bhubaneswar, and is on the side of National Highway 203. Bhakta Dasia Bauri was born here at Baligaon more than 500 years ago. This village is associated with every activity of Dasia, where he was tested by the Panchasakha, where he showed his wife the Car Festival in the water of the famous pond Gothagadia, from where he also sent a coconut to Puri through a Brahmin Pandit for Lord Jagannath. Finally, Dasia died in this small village on the auspicious occasion of Magha Sukla Ekadasi.

A Jagannath Temple was constructed at Baligaon just two years ago by the initiative of the local M.L.A and the devotees and members of Bhakta Dasia Smruti Committee. The Jagannath Temple of Baligaon consists of the main temple and the mukhasala with 22 steps. The main temple is 55 ft. in height and 25 ft. wide. The Parswadevatas of the main temple are Lord Nrsingha, Varaha and Vamana. Lord Balabhadra, Lord Jagannath, Maa Subhadra and Sudarsan are the presiding Deities worshipped in the main temple. Along with Them we also find Madanamohan, Bhudevi and Sridevi along with goddess Laxmi and Bimala inside the main shrine. After entering into the temple complex, one can see Lord Kashi Biswanath on left side of Baisipahacha.

A life size bronze statue of Bhakta Dasia is placed on a pedestal in front of the Jagannath Temple at Baligaon. The statue has folded his hands around a coconut. He is in a kneeling position, offering the sacred fruit to Lord Jagannath. The statue is 4 ft. in height and 2.5 qtls. in weight. It costs Rs.72,000/-, and was sanctioned by the Department of Culture, Govt. of Odisha. The idea for construction of the statue has been borrowed from a photo published in Kalyan Magazine, Bhakta Mala in 1952. The pedestal cost about Rs.50,000/- which has been borne by the Smruti Committee.

The foundation stone of Jagannath Temple at Baligaon was laid by Sri Pradeep Maharathy & his wife Smt. Prativa Maharathy on February 14, 2005. The chief administrator of Jagannath Temple, Puri visited the Pitha on July 27, 2008. The Garbhamuda and Ratnamuda of the temple were completed in the month of November 2008. Gajapati Maharaja Divyasingha Dev visited the spot on March 16, 2009. The temple and Bigraha Pratistha Utsav was held from 30th June to July 2nd, 2009 and the first worship at the temple began on July 3rd, 2009, on the day of Sunabesa.

In addition to the Jagannath Temple, Baligaon has many other memorials, including an old math and Bhakta Dasia Smruti Mandir over the Samadhi (tomb) of Dasia. The tomb was constructed by the Dasa Sampradaya of Odisha just after the death of Dasia Bauri. But the Smruti Mandir over it is a recent addition, donated by the devotees of Bhakta Dasia.

The Bhakta Dasia Memorial Library has been here since 1978. The library has a variety of books covering a wide range subjects, including Philosophy, History, Vedic Literature, Jagannath Culture, Religious Scripture, a collection on Bhakta Dasia, etc. The total books available in this library are 3,000 in numbers.

There is also a Jhulana Mandap, two-bed guest house (one is A.C.) within the pitha complex. The Tourism Department of Odisha had sanctioned Rs.12 lakhs for construction of this guest house during the year 2010. The Tulsi garden of the smruti pitha has special importance in Jagannath Culture. Tulsi leaves are sent from here daily to Srimandir, Puri for decoration of Their Lordships.

Bhakta Dasia Smruti Pitha has registered 4 decimals of homestead land in its name. Another 33 decimals of agriculture land has been donated by a doctor of Salepur in 2010 for maintenance of part expenditure of temple. The temples of Maa Bimala, Maa Laxmi, Sri Ganesh, Mahavir Hanuman, Maa Lankeswari are some important projects which is under construction now. The boundary wall around the pitha and the renovation of Gothagadia are other projects which need special care in future.

Daily Rituals: The day starts with Surya Puja and Dwarapala Puja in Jagannath Temple at 5.30 A.M. followed by Mangal Alati. Balya Bhoga and Gopal Bhoga are done thereafter at 8 A.M. and 9 A.M. respectively. The mid-day Anna Prasad Bhoga is offered to Their Lordships at 12.30 P.M., followed by Pahuda at 1 P.M. Pahuda continues up to 3 P.M. Thereafter the doors open for Darshan. Sandhya Alati takes place at 6.30 in the evening. At 9.30 P.M. Ratrabhoga is served to the Deities. Then comes the Pahuda at 10 P.M.

As there is no permanent source of income for maintenance of the daily rituals, the expenditures are provided through donations in the shape of money or Anna Prasad contribution. The Mahaprasad of the Jagannath Temple of Baligaon is prepared with utmost care. Certain vegetables are debarred in cooking, like that of Srimandir Kitchen. Only fruits are offered to Their Lordships in different Bhogas, so the devotees bring fruits for the purpose.

The festivals observed in Baligaon Jagannath Temple are few. The main functions include the Birth day celebration of Bhakta Dasia on Kartika Sukla Ekadasi, Kartika Purnima, death anniversary of Dasia on Magha Sukla Ekadasi, Jhulana Parva and annual day celebration of temple entry of Their Lordships.

REFERENCES:

Bhakta Mala - Special issue of Kalyan, published by Gita Press, Gorakhpur, 1952.
Bhakta Charita - Special issue of Kalyan, published by Gita Press, Gorakhpur, 26th year Vol.- I.
Spot visit and interview with Dr. G.S. Swain, Secretary, Bhakta Dasia Smruti Committee on 11.06.2011.
Source: Orissa Review