Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Vimala Temple inside the Puri Jagannath Temple, Puri Dham

Vimala Temple:-

Vimala Temple enshrines seven Mother Goddesses that include Brahmi, Maheswari, Andri, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi and Chamunda. Goddess Vimla is the main deity of this temple. This temple stands as a monument for the predetermined years when Puri was a genuine Sakthipitha. Near this temple there is a sacred pond. Daily prayers are conducted in this temple.

Everything offered to Jagannatha is offered to Bimala Devi first.

The Temple dedicated to the goddess Bimala is located to the right of the main temple of Jagannath within the Jagannath Temple, Puri complex beside the Rohini Kund. It is believed that the feet (Pada Khanda) of Goddess Sati fell here. The temple is considered foremost among all Shaktipeeths. Lord Jagannath worshipped as the Bhairav form shows syncretism of Vaishnav amd Shaivite beliefs. Goddess Bimala is worshipped as a peaceful form of Shakti.

At a later period, the temple of goddess Bimala was constructed at that place. This is how Bimala is known and worshipped as Pada Pitheswari and Pada Rajasweri in the Temple of Lord Jagannath. Here, some scholars are inclined to hold that after severing of Sati's half-burnt body, her tongue portion fell at Nilachal Dham  Even though Jagannath temple follows a strict regimen of offering vegetarian bhog to the deities, non-vegetarian food is offered to goddess Bimala during Dussehra.

everyday the Prasad of Lord Jagannath is re-offered to goddess Bimala in a golden plate. It is then that the Prasad comes out of the Temple as Mahaprasad for the consumption of the devotees.

"Animal sacrifice to goddess Bimala is an age-old tradition here. We are simply abiding by the custom. Nobody has ever thought of bending the custom," a temple officer said.

For Sakta Tantric Jagannatha is Bhairava and Bimala is Bhairavi. In the  month of Asvina, during the Durga Puja, animal sacrifice is made before goddess  Bimala which is the only of its kind in the otherwise bloodless rituals  performed in the temple. The  holy food offered to Shri Jagannatha is sanctified only after it is presented  to Bimala and then acquires the character of Mahaprasad. The Goddess Bimala, a  manifestation of the Mother Goddess and considered as Shakti of Lord  Jagannatha.

 We can see this mandir just back side of jagannath swamy mandir in the temple complex itself. Bimala mata is considered to be Bhairavi and Jagannath as Bhirava. This temple is one of 108 shakthipeethas in India. Sati devi navel portion fell over here. Every year Durga pooja is celebrated here for 16 days grandly.

Bimala is no different from Vishnu. It is said in the scriptures of our mythology that Lord Vishnu assumes Devi Shakti when he embarks upon an adventurous operation to vanquish evil and restore righteousness on the earth. Bimala and Durga are one. Bimala is worshipped as Durga during Dashahara Puja in the Temple of Lord Jagannath. Bimala is believed to be the nourisher of the world and bestower of happiness and well being of mankind. She is addressed and worshipped in different names and although a Shakta deity, She enjoys a dignified place in the Vaishnavite cult of
Hindu mythology.


During the anavasara period, as an ideal newly-wedded wife, Lakshmi completely devotes herself to nursing her sick husband. For fourteen days she gives up sleeping, after which she understandable becomes a little tired and falls asleep. As soon as he sees that Lakshmi has fallen asleep, her husband Jagannath unties his cloth from Lakshmi’s and immediately leaves for the Gundicha temple to see his girlfriends, Radharani and the vraja-gopis.

This takes place on the second day of the bright half of the month of Asadha, and is known as Gundicha-yatra or Ratha-Yatra.

Lakshmi Devi wakes up a few days later to find her husband gone. When she inquires where he is, Jagannath’s servant explains that he went to see his girlfriends. Hearing this, Lakshmi leaves the alter, and goes to stay in the storage room of the Jagannath Temple – just like a depressed wife would. She refuses to take opulent food, and dines like poor Orissan people on dalua rice and kalamba saga. The sixteenth chapter of the Vamadev-samhita describes that Lakshmi went to Bimala Devi and said, “O dear elderly lady, you already know about the misdeeds of Jagannath. I don’t know where he and his sister went. Being his wife, do I now at least have the right to know where he goes? Wht wrong did I do to deserve such a thing ? what can I say about his peomiscuous nature ? in his absence, I’ve not even observed my pati-vrata dharma of taking bath !

Bimala Replied:-

 “When a husband loses his intelligence, it is well known that one has to make him leave his nonsense by means of magic. Therefore take this magic powder and go to where your husband is, o queen of the demigods.”

The following morning, on the fifth day after Jagannath’s departure, Lakshmi wakes up in a sulky mood. She finally has a bath and puts on ornaments. Then, collecting some of her associates, she is carried on a palanquin to the Gundicha Mandir to see her newly-wedded husband. This festival is known as Hera-Panchami and takes place on the fifth day after Ratha Yatra. Hera means “to behold”, and panchami means “the fifth day”. The festival is also sometimes called. Lakshmi-vijayotsava, or “the victory celebration of Lakshmi”. As described by Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami in the fourteenth chapter of the Madhya-lila of Caitanya-caritamrita, the Hera-Panchami festival was greatly relished by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his associates.

 Angry and jealous, Lakshmi Devi is in the mood of an adhira nayika, a restless, aggrieved heroine. She takes the magical powder given to her by Bimala Devi and goes to see Jagannatha via a different route than the one her husband used. Jagannatha is not expecting Lakshmi to come by that route, and seeing her, he feels embarrassed. Following a traditional tantric process. She uses the magical powder on Jagannatha, then goes to Jagannath’s cart, and unnoticed by anyone, breaks part of it. Without saying a word to Jagannatha, Lakshmi goes to his chariot driver and says to him, “Tell your master that Lakshmi is going back to the palace.” She then returns to the temple via the neighborhood known as Hera Gohiri Sahhi, where the local people give her an enthusiastic heroine’s greeting at their homes with offerings of fruits and other worship.


The image of goddess Bimala is made in chlorite stone. The image is consecrated in the temple in a full-bloomed lotus pedestal. The image is deified as Bhairabi having four hands in a divine manifestation, one hand holding a rosary known as Akshyamala, another hand holding a serpent known as Nagaphasa, still another hand holding a pot of ambrosia known as Amrit Kalasa and the fourth hand displaying Varada-pose, a pose of blessing. Bimala is described as the prowess of delusion. She is at the same time invoked as Kriya-shakti (the prowess of action) of Lord Balabhadra, Ichha-shakti (the prowess of will) of Subhadra and Maya shakti (the prowess of the delusion) of Lord Jagannath. Not only this .


The Madala panji states that the temple of Vimala was constructed by Yayati Keshari. Structures of the temple are built in both sand stones and laterite stones. The temple faces to the eastern direction. The shrine of Vimala is believed to be a suitable place for Tantric form of worship. Purusottama kshetra or Puri is regarded as one of the several Sakta pithas enumerated in Tantra Chudamani, Kubjika Tantra and Jnanarnava Tantra and it is here that the navel of sakti had fallen.

The main Vimala Temple features are its sandstone and laterite walls, the Vimana, Jagamohana – assembly hall, Nata-mandapa or festival hall and Bhoga mandapa or hall of offerings.

The vimana is a Rekha deula (a tall building with a shape of sugarloaf), 60 feet (18 m) in height and in shape of 15 feet (4.6 m) square. It stands on a 2 feet (0.61 m) platform, which is decorated with lotus and other floral designs and scrollwork. The outer wall of the vimana is divided into 5 parts (from base to top): pabhaga, talajangha, bandhana, upara jangha and baranda.

The jagamohana or mukhasala is a pidha deula (square building with a pyramid-shaped roof), 35 feet (11 m) in height with a 25 feet (7.6 m) square base. It stands on a 2 feet (0.61 m) high platform, which is decorated with floral designs and scrollwork. The outer wall is divided into 5 parts, as in the vimana. The niches and intervening recesses of the first part are adorned with Khakhara mundi niches (having amorous couples and erotic scenes), Naga pilasters, scrollwork, jaliwork and floral motifs.

The natamandapa is a pidha deula, 22 feet (6.7 m) in height and in shape of rectangle 35 feet (11 m) in length by 18 feet (5.5 m). It is probably a later addition to the original temple, which consisted of the vimana and jagamohana. It stands on a 3.5 feet (1.1 m) platform. The five divisions of the outer wall are undecorated. It is topped with a small pyramidal pinnacle. The natamandapa has four door ways, one on each side of the wall. Inner walls of the natamandapa are adorned with Pattachitra-style traditional Orissan paintings, depicting sixteen forms of the Hindu Goddess, including the Mahavidyas.

The bhogamandapa is a pidha deula, 20 feet (6.1 m) in height and in shape of 15 feet (4.6 m) square. It stands on a 4 feet (1.2 m) platform. The five outer wall divisions are undecorated. It is topped with a small pinnacle. An eight-armed dancing Ganesha and a 12-armed, six-headed standing Kartikeya (both are the sons of Parvati ans Shiva) occupy niches on the western inner wall. The ceiling has floral paintings with a lotus design in the middle, suspending downwards.The bhogamandapa has four doorways, opening on each side. Two female gatekeepers guard each door. A flight of steps at the eastern doorway serves as the main entrance of the temple.

The Goddess-oriented festival of Durga Puja in the Hindu month of Ashvin (October) is celebrated for sixteen days, culminating with Vijayadashami.[8] On Vijayadashami, Vimala is worshipped by the titular Gajapati king of Puri as the goddess Durga, who is believed to have slain the demon Mahishasura on this day.
As the goddess is believed to assume a destructive aspect during the Durga Puja, women are debarred in the temple as they are considered too "weak-hearted" to witness this terrible form of the goddess.

The only time in the year when separate food is cooked for the goddess is when she is offered non-vegetarian offerings. During Durga Puja, Vimala is offered non-vegetarian food and animal sacrifice, traditionally offered to the Hindu Mother Goddess. The goddess is considered to assume a destructive form during the festival and the meat is considered necessary to placate her. In strict secrecy during the pre-dawn hours, animal sacrifice of a he-goat is offered in the temple, while fish from the sacred Markanda temple tank are cooked and offered to Vimala, as per Tantric rituals. The rituals have to be completed before the doors of the main sanctum of the vegetarian Jagannath are opened at dawn and the first morning aarti is offered to the god. Vaishnava devotees of Jagannath are debarred from the temple. Only a few who witness the ceremony are given the Bimala parusa (Vimala's cuisine) as prasad. The animal sacrifice and the non-vegetarian offerings to Vimala produced protests.

Rohini Kund:-

Next to the temple is Markanda kunda. Rohini kunda, one of the other Pancha Tirtha of Puri is also within the vicinity. The Kunda is considered to be the abode of Narayana. The story of Sri Krishna being accidentally killed by one Jara is told in relation to this kunda and that of a banyan tree there called Akshaya Kalpavat. Apparently the divine log of Jagannatha floated from the sea to the Rohini Kunda. It is from this that King Indradyumna caused the Jagannatha deity to be carved.


Puri, the land of Lord Jagannathji is been well known for its pristine beaches, colorful festivals, and the numerous points of tourist attraction. Every year millions of tourists across this globe come here for leisure, pleasure and devotion. The Jagannathji Temple Administration has keeping in mind the needs of the devotees, has come up with “Nilachal Bhakta Nivas” a brand new guest house. Right on the Grand Road and adjacent to the temple, the guest house has great locational advantages. It is only minutes away from the railway station, bus stop and the beach.

How to Reach:-

By Road:-

 Mini buses run by the state transport department connect Puri with Bhubaneswar while jeeps are available to and from Konark. There are two bus terminuses within the city at Baramunda and opposite Ashok hotel while private buses are also available at the junction of Grand Road and Hospital Road.

By Rail:-

 Puri has its own railway station which connects it to cities such as Kolkata, New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Vishakhapatnam while Bhubaneswar (a 1.5 hour drive from Puri) is also connected to most of the major Indian cities.

By Air:-

The nearest airport is located at Bhubaneswar. which 56 km away.


  1. Very nice info, thanks to share this valuable info with us. Puri is well connected by road, train and air.
    Jagannath Rath Yatra start from
    Jagannath Temple to Gundicha Temple
    . Its 3 km journey.

  2. Puri is a one of the greatest destinations in Odisha as well as India to visit. Thanks for writing such informative blog. I got to know a lot about the temple now though I've visited there several times. Goddess Vimala temple is there inside the Lord Jagannath temple premises and a lot of devotees come here to seek blessings from the Goddess. Apart from Goddess Vimala temple, there are many other small temples inside. Devotees find the place the home of peace, tranquility and divinity.
    Visit Puri

  3. The piece of information posted here is extremely useful and for more info related to Jagannath Puri Temple visit and for purchasing Jagannath Puri prasad online ,visit

  4. It is very sad things for young Odiyas that they don't know what is the significance of Vimala ppitha. It is one of the great tantrik ppitha in the world. Tantrism was a greatest science of ancient India. Biraja and Bimala ppitha both were on top of the tantrik practice.

  5. Bhagirathi Mahasuar13 June 2017 at 10:25

    All the contents of this feature are valuable,kowledgiable and appreciable.But reality is that Mahaprasad after being offered to Jagannath is given to Vimala contrary to the popular belief that after offering to Vimala it is called Mahaprasad. Scholar R.N.Pratihari has held it and his opinion has been accepted by temple adminisration in a Gazette.There is no animal sacrifice near Vimala during Dussera. Respecting the popular ritual only fish is offered at midnight in Mahastami. She is actually Bhubaneswari and possibly might have been installed by Yayati Keshari, who started construction of Lingaraj temple.

  6. The sanctuary is of most extreme significance to the Hindu enthusiasts as it is one of the Char-Dham Pilgrimages.
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  7. Thanks for sharing this informative information about budget hotel in puri with us. It's very helpful. Keep it up!


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