Temples in Ancient India were the epicentres of the town or village. They were built for communal worship and the sacred sites and images were consecrated with great devotion. Temples began as small village shrines and outdoor mandirs. Most of the big temples were patronised by Kings of the various dynasties who built the temples as per the architectural styles prevalent at that period. Texts such as Shilpa Shastra and Vastu Shastra laid down details of temple construction. Donations for the upkeep and maintenance of the temples were largely due to the patronage of the Kings and were considered a great act of piety. One of the most sacred temples in Jharkhand is the Jagannath temple also known as the Jagannathpur temple at Ranchi.
The temple was built in the year 1691 by the King of Barkagarh Thakur Aninath Shahdeo.
The temple is built on a hillock and pilgrims can either climb the stairs or take a vehicle. Since there many steps leading to the temple, the temple management have made provisions for fresh water along the route. Also the presence of a huge tree provides shade to weary travellers who wish to rest intermittently before travelling. The temple offers a panoramic view of the city from the top. This temple is built on the same architectural style of the famous Jagannath temple at Puri though it is of a smaller size. Inside the temple are the main shrines of Krishna, Subhadra and Balabhadra. The temple has the figure of Hanuman on one of the niches inside and Garuda, the Vahana outside the temple. The temple has been restructured recently to its former glory after it collapsed due to wear and tear.
The annual Rath Yatra (Car festival) is celebrated here on the full moon day of the month of Ashaada (July) in the same lines as in Puri. Thousands of devotees including tribals, non-tribals and devotees from all over the world participate in the holy and festive occasion and join in pulling the temple chariots which is considered holy and sacred. The chariots are accompanied by artists playing devotional songs with trumpets, drums and other musical instruments.
How To Reach
Air – Since the airport at Ranchi is at a distance of 547 km from the temple, the nearest airport is the Kolkata international airport which is at a distance of 409 km from the temple.
Rail – The nearest railway station is Hatia which is a terminal station next to Ranchi railway station and many express trains stop at and Ranchi.
Road – The nearest bus stop is the Birsa bus stand and buses ply from Ranchi which is at a distance of 10 km and private taxis and jeeps are also available to reach the temple.
There are hotels of all budgets at Ranchi to provide suitable accommodation to the pilgrims.
There are numerous deities in Hinduism and this is due to the diverse traditions existing within it. It is an all-encompassing religion as it accommodates people with different concepts of the Supreme, thus glorifying his greatness and gradually this leads to ultimate self-realisation. Thus, fulfilment of desires and material gains falls in this process of gradual transformation. Bhakti Yoga or the path of devotion is considered the most suitable path for the aspirant and the atmosphere and ambience of the temple induce feelings of calmness, peace and equanimity. Devotion and prayer to the Lord in the temples, hallowed by the vibrations of saints and seekers from time immemorial attracts Divine grace which ultimately leads to the awakening of spiritual knowledge. Thus temples and pilgrimages give the pilgrim an opportunity to move away from the vagaries of life and find solace by pure and unsullied service and devotion to a personal God or deity.