Friday, 20 December 2013

Significance of Pongal (or) Shankranti Festival


The Sanskrit term “Shankramana” means “to begin to move”. The day on which the sun begins to move northwards is called Makara Shankranti. It usually falls in the middle of January.
ands slowly during the course of the celebrations, first embracing with its long arms of love the entire household and neighbours, then the servants and the poor, then the cow, and then all other living creatures. Without even being aware of it, one develops the heart and expands it to such proportions that the whole universe finds a place in it.

As Shankranti is also the beginning of the month, Brahmins offer oblations to departed ancestors. Thus, all the great sacrifices enjoined upon man find their due place in this grand celebration. The worship of the Cosmic Form of the Lord is so well introduced into this, that every man and woman in India is delightfully led to partake of it without even being aware of it.

To the spiritual aspirants this day has a special significance. The six-month period during which the sun travels northwards is highly favourable to them in their march towards the goal of life. It is as though they are flowing easily with the current towards the Lord. Paramahamsa Sannyasins roam about freely during this period, dispelling gloom from the hearts of all. The Devas and Rishis rejoice at the advent of the new season, and readily come to the aid of the aspirant.

The great Bhishma, the grandfather of the Pandavas, was fatally wounded during the war of the Mahabharata, waited on his deathbed of nails for the onset of this season before finally departing from the earth-plane. Let us on this great day pay our homage to him and strive to become men of firm resolve ourselves!

Important Shankranti:-

    Makar Shankranti: Marks the transition of the Sun into Makara rashi (Capricorn) on its celestial path. The traditional Indian calendar is based on lunar positions, Sankranti is a solar event. The date of Makar Shankranti remains constant over a long term, 14 January.

    Maha Vishuva Shankranti: Also known as Mesha Sankranti and Pana Shankranti, is celebrated as the Oriya New Year and is marked as the end of a Bengali year. The day marks the beginning of the New Year in the traditional Hindu Solar Calendar. On this day, the sun enters the sidereal Aries, or Mesha rashi. It generally falls on 14/15 April. Also celebrated on this day is North Indian and Sikh Festival of Vaisakhi, which marks the start of New Year and Foundation of Khalsa Panth respectively.

    Dhanu Shankranti: celebrated on the first day of lunar Pausha month.

According to Epics:-

Legend of Mount Govardhan:-

The first day of the festival Bhogi Pongal has an association with legend of Lord Indra (the God of clouds and rains) and Lord Krishna. Earlier, people used to worship Lord Indra who was the King of the deities. This honor given to Lord Indra made him full of pride and arrogance. He thought himself to be the most powerful of all the beings. When child Krishna came to know about this he thought of a plan to teach him a lesson. He persuaded his cowherd friends to worship Mt. Govardhan rather than Lord Indra. This angered Lord Indra and he sent forth the clouds to generate non-stop thunder, lightning, heavy rains and flood the land. As per the tale, Lord Krishna lifted the huge Govardhan Parvat on his little finger to protect the cowherds and the cattle. He kept standing with the lifted mount to save all the humans from the ravaging storm of Lord Indra. The rains continued for three days and at last Indra realized his mistake and divine power of Lord Krishna. He promised humility and begged Krishna's forgiveness. Since then, Krishna allowed to let the Bhogi celebrations continue in honor of Indra. Thus, the day gave the origin to the Pongal celebration. The festival got another name of Indran from this legendary story.

Legend of Lord Shiva:-

Another legend associated with the festival relates to Lord Shiva. The third day of Pongal known as Mattu Pongal involves Lord Shiva and his mount, Nandi (Basava), the bull. According to the legend, Lord Shiva once asked his bull to go to the Earth and deliver his message to the people to have an oil massage and bath daily and to eat food once a moth. Mistakenly, Basava announced to have an oil massage and bath once a month and to eat food daily. Enraged Shiva cursed Basava and said that due to this mistake there would be lack of grains on the Earth. He banished the bull to live on earth forever and help people plough the fields. Thus, Mattu Pongal has an association with the cattle. It is also called Kanu Pongal. The celebrations of the festival are similar to the festivals of Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj of North India.

Legend of Surya Deva:-

On the day of Sankranti it is said that the Lord Sun (Surya) visits his son Shani. It is said that generally the two do not get along well but not this day, the Sun visits his son forgetting all differences of opinion. Hence, Makar Sankranti is considered to be a day to forget sourness and bitter relationships. One must forget all the bitterness or ill-feelings and talk sweetly with everybody.

On this day, people take a dip in the holy Ganga and offer water to the Surya (Sun God). By doing this, it is said that the sins will be cleansed and one can attain salvation. Taking a dip at Prayag is considered to be extremely good on this day.

It is very good to chant the Gayatri Mantra on this day.

Legend of Bhishmadev:-

While Bhishmadev was describing occupational duties the sun’s cords ran into the Northern hemisphere.  This period is desired by mistakes who die at their will.
There upon that man who spoke on different subjects with thousands of meanings and who fought on thousands of battle fields and protected thousands of man stopped speaking and being completely free from all bondage with drew his mind from everything else and fixed his wide open eyes upon the original personality of godhead Shri Krishna who stood before him four handed dressed in yellow garments that glittered and shined.

On this day today the auspicious occasion is taking place of Makar Sankranti.  It is the day when the sun enters into the Northern hemisphere.  It is time in Alahabad millions upon millions of people are coming to bathe at the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Jamuna, Saraswati, on this auspicious day.  During the art of Kumbhamela.  Here we are reading from the Shrimad Bhagavatam one of the most blessed and wonderful pastime that took place at this time.  The passing of Bhishma day that great heir old Kuru dynasty.  Bhishmadev after the battle of Kurukshetra was lying on a bed of arrows.  Although he was the greatest worrier in all of the world because he was on the side which apposed dharma, he was destroyed. Some people wonder how is it possible that such a great devotee is Bhishmadev would fight on the side against the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna.  It is actually a great mystery.  Because Bhishmadev is one of the twelve Mahajans that means along with Shiva, Bhrahma, Yamaraj, Narada, Shukadev, Pralhad, and others he is considered one of the twelve supreme authorities of the absolute truth.

It is said that the only way to understand the truth and to know the essence of the Vedas is to follow in the footsteps of these twelve great Mahajans.  To follow in the footsteps of the Mahajans, it is that mean we should follow in the footsteps of the Bhishma and take the side against Krishna?.  To take the side of irreligion. To assist such an envious person like Dhyrnodhana and fight against great worriers like Arjuna and Yudhisthira.  The Shasthra and the Acharyas explain how Bhishma was acting in a mood of complete surrender to Lord Shri Krishna.  Because when Krishna wants to teach a lesson to the world he teaches it through his greatest devotees.  It is said that when a housewife wants to teach her daughter-in-law she instructs her daughter in such a way that that the daughter-in-law could hear.  Similarly Krishna wanted to teach a lesson.  That however intelligent we are, however powerful we are, however influential we are, if we are apposed to the will of the Lord we will be defeated and destroyed.  And in order to make this lesson very powerful he took the most powerful man on all the earth Bhishma and from within his heart directed him to take the side of Dhuryodhana and Kurus.  And although Bhishma knew exactly what he was to do and that he will be misunderstood and deafened by unintelligent people throughout history he was willing to even accept such humiliation if that was the will of Lord Shri Krishna.  That is the nature of real surrender and humility.  But Krishna leela heard of Bhishma and therefore he rewarded Bhishma with the greatest of all benedictions.  This we are about to discuss this evening.  It is described in the Shrimad Bhagavat that after the battle of Kurukshetra  Yudhisthira Maharaj was feeling very despondent.  He was already his king, but he was thinking that so many people died because of him and he was thinking that there was nothing in the world that he could do atom for sinful activities.  This is the nature of a humble devotee.  A materialist person is always to give blame to others and never take the blame for himself.  We never want to admit our false.  Even when we are covered by so many false.  I think we all have this experience, yes or no?.  When we do something nice we want credit.  And someone else does something nice we want that credit also.  When someone does something wrong we like to give them blame.  And when we do something wrong we like to give someone else the blame.  Sometimes you are like this, no? that is the nature of the human mind and ego.  But Yudhisthira as a great devotee is just the opposite.  Whatever great things he did he gave all credit to Krishna.  He understood that nothing could be done without the grace of Krishna.  Without the grace of Krishna Bhagavan we cannot speak we cannot move, we cannot think, we cannot breathe.  Foolish people take credit for their activities, but those who understand the truth are always grateful to Krishna.  That is fundamental knowledge.  What can you do without the help of god?  We have not created our eyes or our tongue or our ears or our hands or our brain or our heart.  We have not created the sun and the rain and the air that maintains us.  We are simply taking the gifts of god and taking the abilities that god has given us and then we take the credit for ourselves.  Krishna explains in Gita Sarvalokamaheshwara, that he is the proprietor of everything and ultimately he is the doer of everything.  But we have the choice whether we want to do it as a loving exchange to the Supreme or as a service to our own illusioned ego.  But we take to the path of devotion we actually live honestly.  For Maharaj Yudhisthira he gave all credit to Krishna, but even when Dhuryodhana, Dhushyasana, Dhritarasthra were so terribly envious, so unjust they created so much criminal atrocities upon the Pandavas that this war of Kurukshetra had to be fought.  After all Yudhisthira was the right to the whole kingdom of the world.  But it was unfairly by Dhuryodhana.  And Dhuryodhana was approached by Yudhisthira through Krishna himself.  He said although the kingdom is meant to be mine you can have the whole thing just give each of brothers one village, five small villages.  And Dhuryodhana who was so fearful and so angrious he responded that I will not give you enough land to control that you can put the head of a needle through.  And he tried to murder them, he tried to humiliate them, he cheated them and gambling so many terrible things.  But Yudhisthira Maharaj took all the blame upon himself.  He claimed that actually Dhritarasthra was very nice.  It is all my fault and look at how so many people had to die because of him.  Such a soft gentle heart.  So Krishna brought Yudhisthira Maharaj to the battle field of Kurukshetra where Bhishmadev was lying on the bed of arrows.  Bhishma had the benediction from his father Maharaj Shantanu that he would only die when he decided that he want to die.  He was so undefeatable in the battle field that Yudhisthira and his brothers had to approach Bhishma and ask if we do not defeat you, all our armies will be destroyed and we are fighting for Krishna, we are fighting for dharma, unless you tell us how you can be defeated we will lose.  So Bhishma he began to smile and radiate great joy. He said this is very good.  I will tell you how you can destroy me.  Unless I tell you I am undefeatable.  And he systematically in great detail explained how they could to defeat him.  And he told them “tomorrow you must do it because if you don’t I will destroy your whole army”.  Arjuna was the only person powerful enough to penetrate the body of Bhishma with his arrows.  First Bhishma explained to bring Shikhandi before him and then he told Arjuna from my neck to my feet you have to fill my body with arrows that go in one side and out the other side and there should not be enough space to put even one finger between the arrows.  So they came before him in the battle field and Bhishma was very happy. Today nice auspicious activity will take place.  Today the world will see how the greatest heir when all creation is defeated when he apposes Krishna.  Today Krishna will be glorified.  So he told Arjuna shoot.  Arjuna loved him, he was his most well-wishing grandfather.  He began to shoot but there were tears of love in his eyes and he could not shoot very strong.  So they were not penetrating him.  Bhishma was telling Arjuna shoot harder with all young might. And with his blessings he covered his body with arrows.  And then Bhishma very graciously with the thought of Bhagavan in his mind he laid down on the battle field.  And on that day both sides stopped fighting to offer their pranam obeisance’s to Bhishma.  And then the rest of the battle took place and sometime later Yudhisthira was coronated, but Bhishma was still laying there waiting for Krishna to return.  He would not meet this world without the beautiful darshan of Krishna.  He wanted to teach all living beings how to perfect their lives.  So Krishna took Yudhisthira who was the mending to Bhishmadev along with his brothers and along with all the great saints and rishis in the whole universe.  Vyas, Narada, Sita, Devala, Parashuram, Bharadwaj Muni all the great saints wanted to be there to see the auspious departure of the world from Bhishma.  So when Bhishma saw that Yudhisthira was in distress he began to explain wonderful words of wisdom.  How is it that Yudhisthira was the emblem of dharma had to suffer in so many injustices.  And how is it that Kuntidevi the mother of the Pandavas had to indoor so many terrible harm sufferings in her life.  Kunti who’s heart was so pure who was such a exothetic great devotee of the lord.  Even the greatest philosophers cannot comprehend the inconceivable will of the Supreme Lord.  But he explained that in this world invincible time controls everything and everyone.  And no one can escape from the clutch of time.  Whoever will may be by the power of time will lose everything.  And time is none other than representative of Bhagavan in this world.  All powerful, controller of everything and everyone.  And then Bhishma began to explain that this powerful time factor although it consumes everything material it works always in favor of the lords devotees.  Because in the end Krishna reveals to his devotee his eternal nature beyond time.  So if you think that you can make a comfortable situation in this world that will indoor you are in great illusion.  On the material platform whether you are pies or impies you must suffer. Whether you perform good karma or bad karma you have to suffer.  It can not be avoided.  If you perform good karma, you get some temporary relief from that suffering and if you commit bad karma you are just plunged in terrible anxieties.  But old age, disease, and death come upon everywhere.  So what to do.  We must understand what is truth.  You are not these bodies. These bodies are temporary coverings of eternal soul.  Dhuryodhana lived only for the service of his body and his mind and his ego.  Yudhisthira lived for the service of god.  They both suffered.  But one in the end attained eternal extastic love and devotion.  And one died in miserable death.  So what is our aim in life? Krishna explains in Gita

We should abandon all verities of religion and surrender to Krishna.  He will be of all simple reactions.  In this state there is no fear.  This is the purpose of life.  This is the only solution to the problems of life.  Our Guru Maharaj use to say that there is only one problem in this world.  And that is a lack of Krishna consciousness.  And there is only one solution to the problems of this world and that is Krishna consciousness.  How is this?  There are so many so many problems in this world.  There are so many terrible diseases.  There are so many problems with social dissension.  There are so many problems with drought, floods, earthquakes, and volcanos.  There are so many problems with mental anxieties drug addiction, alcoholism, air pollution, water pollution, land pollution, land pollution, building of nuclear bombs everywhere.  Even the most technically advanced computers in the world are never list even a fraction of all the problems of phasing human existence.  But all these problems are due to illusion.  Because actually we are the eternal soul with part of Krishna.  It is because we have forgotten that, that all these problems come upon us.  This is the world of problems.  You cannot solve them.  The best you can do is place if from shoulder to the next.  There is a story like that.  It was about a man and he was carrying a big boat on his right shoulder.  He was a working man and it was so painful.  His shoulder was aching so bad. He was praying to god to help him.  He was prudently praying to god.  So god came and said “oh you have prayed to me now any then benediction you desire I will award you”.  And he said “please oh mighty lord please help move this load from right shoulder to my left shoulder”.  So this is materialistic religion.   We pray to god to give us some material relief from material benediction.  But everything material is the source of misery in due course of time.  Why should be asked god for those things.  We should ask the god to take it off.  There is another story of a sadhu, he was living in the jungle and he was walking.  So many days he was walking and he became very tired.  So he began to pray to god “please send me a hoarse” so within minutes a beautiful lady hoarse started walking just in front of him and he was thinking oh god is so mercy.  So he got on the hoarse and he started riding on the hoarse and he was so happy.  This is real sadhu life, riding on hoarse.  But he became very attached to the hoarse. And he felt obliged to take care of the hoarse because the hoarse was doing so much for him.  The hoarse was pregnant and after some months a little baby hoarse was born.  So he still had to go on his pilgrimage. What to do of the baby hoarse.  So he put the baby hoarse over his back and shoulders and was carrying the baby hoarse while he was walking.  Terrible terrible difficulty.  And then he began to sing a beautiful song.  Oh my lord Shri Ram who can understand your inconceivable mercy.  I pray to you to be carried by a hoarse and now I am carrying a hoarse.  So that is the nature of this world.  Krishna explains that this material existence is endlessly mutable.  We should not approach god for these things.  We should approach god for one benediction that will be stow real pleasure in our lives.  To always think of him with love.  To remember him always in our life and to remember him at the time of death.  Because Krishna tells us.
That what you remember at the time of death you will attain without fail.  Bhishma was instructing Yudhisthira Maharaj in so many subjects.  He taught him about the Varanashram dharma. God’s worship, not man’s worship.   Varanashram dharma is today called the caste system.  It is a perfect scientific meanings of organizing society so that every one perfects their life in harmony with one another.

Krishna tells us in Gita that I have created this system of Varana and Ashram and it is to be determined by ones activities and ones qualities.  According to ones activities and ones qualities one works according to certain spiritual principles.  But what has happened toady? Such a wonderful and perfect gift of god has become so much distorted by the wicked minds of man.  Krishna says nothing about janma or birth.  One is categorized as brahman, kshatriya, or vaishava shudra, a bhrahmacharya grihastha vanaprastha or sanyas by ones natural inclinations and ones ability to perform certain functions not by ones birth.  But what happened is long ago brahmans who did not want to live according to the principles of brahmans wanted a recognition and the profits of brahmans.  Therefore they created this misconception that because we are born brahmans we must be respected.  But in the Gita Krishna explains what are the qualities of a brahman kshatriya vaishnava and shudra.  As brahman is always peaceful, he is austere, content with little or nothing.  Never accepts employment from anyone.  It is very learned in the scripture.  He is compassionate and is willing to live with nothing as a service to society.  That is a brahman.  It is not a matter of buying a thread for fifty pisa.  It has nothing to do with being born in a brahman family.  One who has and lives by those qualities is brahman.  And what is a Kshatriya.  Kshatriya is one who is willing to go and to come back and risk his life for the sake of protecting innocent people and he is thoroughly honest.  Where do we find politicians like that today?  Krishna created a system if followed this world would be a kingdom of god.  Because this society is compared to a body.  The body has head, the body has arms, and the body has belly and legs.  They all work together to serve.  For the purpose of the whole body.  The purpose of human life is meant to realize god, to serve god.  So every aspect of society is meant to work together harmoniously for this purpose only.  But now we find so much conflict not only in India, but all over the world.  Communism means the working class ones power.  Capitalism means the vaishays want power.  Brahmanism means the brahmans want power.  Dictatorship means the kshatriya wants power.  That the real caste system is for everyone no one wants power.  Everyone wants to serve the all powerful Krishna.  So Bhishma explained in great detail this Varanashram system.  He also explained ha the proper process of giving in charity, the proper responsibilities of a ruler, and how to achieve the perfection of life.  As he was discussing these things the sun entered into the Northern hemisphere.  As it is doing today.  And he realized that this is an auspious time to leave this world. So he with drew his mind and senses and began to look unblinking with wide open eyes at the beautiful form of Sri Krishna.  And as he was looking upon Krishna tears began to flow from his eyes. And he will begin to remember the mercy of Krishna and he spoke that “Krishna you are original Supreme personality of god and you will have so mercifully come to me in this far off place just to be giving being your mercy at the time of my death.  And he began to remember the beautiful beautiful pastimes of the lord and how he shows so much love and affection to his devotees.  Arjuna was telling the supreme controller of all controllers pull my chariot between these two armies and Krishna said “yes” and he did the save of his devotees.  And how when Arjuna was completely the builder Krishna spoke the beautiful words of Bhagavat-Gita to pacify his devotees.  And Bhishma was remembering while he was laying on his death during his last moments how during the battle of Kurukshetra Krishna promised he would not lift a weapon and he would not fight.  But Bhishma wowed that I will force Krishna to break his wow. Now you may ask what kind of devotee is this?  The most wonderful devotee. Bhishma fought with Arjuna in such a way that Arjuna was on the verge of being killed by Bhishma. At that time Krishna lifted a chariot wheel, body covered with the dust raised by the hoods the hoarses, perspiration covering his beautiful transcendental body and he rusted Bhishma to destroy him and Bhishma surrendered.  He wanted to show the world that Krishna loves his devotee more than he loves himself.  He is willing to break his own wow to protect his devotee.  Krishna is bhatkavatsa.  He is always subordinate to the love of those who love him.  Bhishma was remembering how he was piercing Krishna with arrows what kind of devotee is this who shoots arrows into lord.  But Bhishma had a with Krishna and he was fully aware of Krishna’s transcendental body which is Sachchidanand.  And as he was shooting arrows at Krishna and they were piercing Krishna’s body Krishna was feeling these arrows just like he feels the flower pedals hitting his body that are being thrown by the devotees, because they were being offered with love and devotion.  Do not think you can imitate Bhishma, unless you have the realization, and no one has ever had such a realization except Bhishma.  And he was remembering the Gopis of Brindavan.  How and Krishna rasa dance how the braja gopis were so much totally immersed in loving him that they just lost all sense of external reality and their hearts just merged into love and affection for Shri Krishna.  And how he reciprocated and rewarded them the supreme exastacy of prema.  In this way completely immersing his mind and remembering Krishna his eyes seeing Krishna his lips glorifying Krishna.  He with drew his breath and he so departed spiritual world.  All is well that ends well. We remember Krishna at the time of our death our life if perfect.  But you cannot remember Krishna at the time of death unless you learn to remember him throughout your entire life.

Krishna said all the knowledge of all the great scriptures of the world is only to know me.

Always think of me, become my devotee worship me offer your homage to me and this way Krishna says you will come to me without fail.  So we should not approach god for material benediction.  Because he even a getting material benediction.  We should not approach god for something cheap when we can get something so great.  The greatest thing is Bhakti, devotion.  Because it was only true that devotion, that we can find real pleasure and real fulfillment in our life.  Bhishma’s only prayer to the lord at the time of his death was let me always remember you and be your servant.  That is the perfection of human existence.  That same Krishna who resort the supreme benediction upon Bhishma appears again in this age of Kali as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.  He taught us how to be free from all material illusions and suffering and how to always remember Krishna to the simple process of chanting of Krishna’s name.  Here in Kolhapur is the beautiful temple of Mahalaxmi.  The supreme goddess of fortune.  How she departed from Vaikuntha loka and come to this place in Maharasthra to perform tapasya.  And in her tapasya she was constantly immersed and meditating on the lotus feet of her beloved lord Shri Krishna, Lord Narayan.  So this is the summon substance of Lord Chaitanya’s devotees.  Krishna is none different in his name whoever we are it does not matter whether we are educated or uneducated, whether we are men or women, old or young whether we are rich or poor.  Krishna’s name is valuable to all. We can remember Krishna and love in any circumstances by simply calling out his holy names.

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare

By hearing Bhagavad-Gita Shimad Bhagavat associating with devotees of lord sadhus we develop the conviction by which our minds are not carried away by the material illusions and we can keep our mind always fixed on the lotus feet of Krishna’s holy name.  Thank you very much.  Any questions?  Our Guru Maharaj would tell us what is the supreme of all questions.  Would you like to learn this today?  If you would like to learn raise your hands and say “Hari bol”. We can ask so many philosophical questions, but they all comminute in one final question of life.  My dear lord how can I serve you.  That is the final question.  When all other questions are answered and what is the answer.


You can serve me by always remembering me.  By serving my devotees.  By chanting my holy name.

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare.


It is celebrated with pomp in southern parts of the country as Pongal, and in Punjab is celebrated as Lohri & Maghi. Rajasthan & Gujarati not only look reverentially up to the sun, but also offer thousands of their colorful oblations in the form of beautiful kites all over the skyline. The Festival introduces kite enthusiasts world-wide to the intriguing beauty and cultural diversity of India.

Harvest Festival:-

Pongal - The Harvest Festival:-

Pongal is a harvest festival - the Tamil equivalent of Thanksgiving. In an agriculture based civilization the harvest plays an important part. The farmer cultivating his land depends on cattle, timely rain and the Sun. Once a year, he expresses his gratitude to these during the harvest festival. With the end of the wet month of Margazhi (mid December to mid January) the new Tamil month of Thai heralds a series of festivals. The first day of this month is a festival day known as "Pongal Day". Pongal means the "boiling over" of milk and rice during the month of Thai.

According to the calendar based on the solar system the year is divided into two halves following the apparent movement of the Sun northwards and Southwards. The farmer is termed Uttarayanam and the latter is Dakshinayanam. On the first day of the Thai, the Sun leaves the zodiac sign of Sagittarius and enters that of capricorn, the latter is known as Makaram. The event thus is celebrated as Pongal.

The four day celebration of Pongal Marks a period of plenty, peace and happiness. There is a Tamil saying that "Thai peranthal Vali Perakum". That paraphrased means with the dawn of the month of Thai, there will be peace, happiness, prosperity, brightness and harmony in the life of everyone. It is held to honor the Sun, for a bountiful harvest. Families gather to rejoice and share their joy and their harvests with others. The Sun is offered a "Pongal" of rice and milk.

Preparations for this festival start early and the first thing that is always found in Hindu homes before the start of Pongal is the 'kolam'. This is a form of decoration for the Hindus' homes. This decorative pattern is made with rice flour & is usually drawn on the floor outside the door. The kolams serve as a symbol of welcoming guests to the entrance of the house. At the center of the Kolam is a lump of cow-dung, which holds a five-petaled pumpkin flower-a symbol of fertility and an offering of love to the presiding deity.

The houses are cleaned and decorated to prepare for Pongal. For the festival, the Hindus buy new clothes and the ladies of the households would prepare sweetmeats. There is also a belief in the Hindus that the harvest festival will bring great wealth and goodness to their homes. All the four days of Pongal have their own significance as separate deities are worshiped each day.

The first day is celebrated as the Bhogi Pongal and is usually meant for domestic activities and of being together with the family members. This first day is celebrated in honor of Lord Indra, the supreme ruler of clouds that give rains. The second day is known as 'Pongal' the most important day of the entire festival, where prayers are offered to the Sun. On this day, the Sun is given great importance and hence the day is called Surya Pongal.

The third day is known as Mattu Pongal, the day of Pongal for cows. The cattle are washed, their horns are painted and covered with shining metal caps. Kanu Pongal, which falls on the same day as Maatu Pongal, is celebrated by sisters for the welfare of their brothers. This festival is reminiscent of Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj of North India.

What's Pongal?

'Pongal' comes from the word 'ponga' which literally means 'boil' and so 'pongal' connotes 'spillover' or that which is 'overflowing'. It's also the name of the special sweet dish cooked on the Pongal day. Pongal continues through the first four days of the 'Thai' month that starts on January 14 every year.

Seasonal Festivity:-

Pongal is directly associated with the annual cycle of seasons. It not only marks the reaping of the harvest, but also the withdrawal of the southeast monsoons in southern India. As the cycle of season rings out the old and ushers in the new, so is the advent of Pongal connected with cleaning up the old, burning down rubbish, and welcoming in new crops.

Makar Sankranti is among the most auspicious occasions for Hindus and is celebrated in almost all parts of India. It is a harvest festival and is celebrated in many cultural forms with immense devotion, fervor and cheerfulness. The festival is celebrated on 14th January and is possibly the only Indian festival whose date always falls on the same day each year with just a few exceptions.

The festival of Makar Sankranti marks the change of the Sun into Makara Rashi (Capricorn) on its celestial path. The festival is highly regarded by Hindus from North India to down in South India. The day is also known by various names and various traditions are witnessed as one experiences the festival in different states.

Uttar Path:-

'Uttar path' - the north is considered redemptive - the path to mukti while the south is Lord Yama's path (king of Hell). The south symbolises mundane life - 'bhautikvaad.' It is the path of spiritual degradation. The north is the path of spirituality - 'adhyaatma.'


During Makar Sankranti it is a tradition for thousands of pilgrims to bathe in Prayag, at the confluence of three sacred rivers; Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, known as Triveni Sangam. In south India, the eve of Makar Sankranti is known as 'Bhogi.' All the waste bric-a-brac in the house is heaped in the front and burnt. Makar Sankranti is also known as Pongal. 'Pongal' means 'to overflow.' Rice is cooked in milk and the rice is allowed to flow over the rim. The symbolism is that one's home should brim with wealth.

Celebration of Makar Sankranti:-

1. Benefit of highest merit acquired by a Holy dip on the day of Makar Sankranti:-

 The time from sunrise to sunset on Makar-Sankrantiis auspicious. A Holy dip during this period carries special significance. Those who take a Holy dip in the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krushna and Kaveri at the Holy places situated on the banks of these rivers acquire the highest merit.

2. Makar Sankranti Offering: Importance of making an offering during an auspicious period:-

 The period from Makar Sankranti to Rathsaptami is an auspicious period. Any donation and meritorious deeds in this period prove more fruitful.

Substances offered on Makar Sankranti:-

 An offering of new vessels, clothing, food, sesame seeds, pot of sesame seeds, jaggery, a cow, a horse, gold or land should be made depending on the capability. On this day, married women also make some offering. They take things from unmarried girls and give them sesame seeds and jaggery in return. Married women organise a ceremony of haldi-kumkum (applying vermilion and turmeric to the forehead) and gift articles to other married women.

3. Importance of haldi-kumkum ceremony performed by married women on Makar Sankranti:-

Performing haldi-kumkum (Turmeric powder and vermilion) ceremony is in a way invoking the waves of dormant Adi-shakti in the Universe to get activated. This helps in creating impression of Sagun (Materialised) devotion on the mind of an individual and enhances his bhav (Spiritual emotion) unto God.

Steps in haldi-kumkum ceremony:-

  1. Applying haldi-kumkum:-
 Applying haldi-kumkum to a suvasini (A married woman whose husband is alive) activates the dormant Principle of Sri Durgadevi in her and bestows well-being to the applier suvasini.

 2. Applying perfume:-
Fragrant particles emitting from the perfume please the Principle of the Deity and bestow well-being to the applier suvasini within a shorter period.

3. Sprinkling rose-water:-
The fragrant waves emitted by the rose-water activate the waves of the Deity and purifies the environment, and the suvasini who sprinkles it gets greater benefit of the activated Sagun Principle of the Deity.

4. Offering a gift:-
 A gift offered is always supported by the end of the pallu of the sari. Offering a gift to another suvasini amounts to surrendering to the divinity in her, through sacrifice of body, mind and wealth. Giving support of the end of pallu of the sari means leaving attachment to even the clothes worn on the body and thus learning to overcome body awareness. Since the period of sankranti is favourable for sadhana, a gift given during this period pleases the Deities quickly and they bestow the donor suvasini with the desired  fruit.

What should be gifted ? 
 Instead of gifting non-dharmik commodities like soap, plastic items etc., objects complementary to Spirituality and are indicators of a married life, such as incense-sticks, ubtan (Fragrant herbal powder), religious and Holy texts, pictures of Deities, CDs on spiritual topics etc. should be gifted.

 5. Small mud pots:-
 The festival of Sankranti requires small mud pots called sugad (in the Marathi language). Vermilion and turmeric powder is applied to the pots and a thread is tied to them. They are filled with carrots, jujube fruits, sugarcane pieces, pods, cotton, chickpeas, sesame seeds with jaggery, vermilion, turmeric etc. Five pots are placed on a wooden seat, rangoli is drawn around the seat and worshipped. Of these, three are gifted to married women, one is offered to the tulsi plant and one is retained.
Makar Sankranti - Subtle effect of Seasame

 4. Use of sesame seeds:-
 Maximum use of sesame seeds is made during Sankranti festival. For  example, bathing with water containing sesame seeds and eating and distributing tilgul (a sweet  made from sesame seeds), offering sesame to Brahmans, lighting lamps of sesame oil in a  temple of Shri Shiva and performing pitrushraddh (rite for the departed ancestors) in which an  offering of sesame seeds is made.

 Importance of sesame seeds:-

 Using sesame seeds eliminates sins:-
 As per Hindu scriptures, on this day those who  apply sesame seed oil and  utane to the body, bathe in water mixed with sesame seeds, drink water mixed with sesame  seeds, perform a sacrificial fire, make an offering of sesame seeds and make similar use of  sesame seeds, are liberated of all sins.

 Importance according to Ayurved:-
 Since Sankranti falls in winter, consuming sesame seeds  is beneficial.

 Importance according to Spirituality:-
 1. Since sesame seeds have a greater ability to absorb and emit sattva frequencies, consuming  tilgul helps improve spiritual practice. Distributing tilgul to one another results in an exchange of  the sattva component.
 2. Using sesame seeds in shraddh prevents demons from bringing obstacles during the rite.

 5. Forbidden acts!

 During the period of sankrant, talking harshly, cutting trees or grass and acts  provoking sexual urges should be avoided.

 6. Do not fly kites!

 Today, when the Nation and Dharma are in peril, flying kites for the sake of entertainment is akin  to, 'Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burnt'. If the time spent on flying kites is used for the  development of the Nation, it will make it progress faster; and if used for spiritual practice and  missions related to Dharma, then society and the individual will benefit.

Culture & Festivities:-

This festival is celebrated differently in different parts of the country.

Uttar Pradesh:-

In Uttar Pradesh, Sankrant is called ‘Khichiri’. Taking a dip in the holy rivers on this day is regarded as most auspicious. A big one-month long ‘Magha-Mela’ fair begins at Prayag (Allahabad) on this occasion. Apart from Triveni, ritual bathing also takes place at many places like Haridvar and Garh Mukteshwar in Uttar Pradesh, and Patna in Bihar.


In Bengal every year a very big Mela is held at Ganga Sagar where the river Ganga is believed to have dived into the nether region and vivified the ashes of the sixty thousand ancestors of King Bhagirath. This mela is attended by a large number of pilgrims from all over the country.

Tamil Nadu:-

In Tamil Nadu Sankrant is known by the name of ‘Pongal’, which takes its name from the surging of rice boiled in a pot of milk, and this festival has more significance than even Diwali. It is very popular particularly amongst farmers. Rice and pulses cooked together in ghee and milk is offered to the family deity after the ritual worship. In essence in the South this Sankrant is a ‘Puja’ (worship) for the Sun God.

Andhra Pradesh:-

In Andhra Pradesh, it is celebrated as a three-day harvest festival Pongal. It is a big event for the people of Andhra Pradesh. The Telugus like to call it 'Pedda Panduga' meaning big festival. The whole event lasts for four days, the first day Bhogi, the second day Sankranti, the third day Kanuma and the fourth day, Mukkanuma.


In Maharashtra on the Sankranti day people exchange multi-colored tilguds made from til (sesame seeds) and sugar and til-laddus made from til and jaggery. Til-polis are offered for lunch. While exchanging tilguls as tokens of goodwill people greet each other saying – ‘til-gul ghya, god god bola’ meaning ‘accept these tilguls and speak sweet words’. The under-lying thought in the exchange of tilguls is to forget the past ill-feelings and hostilities and resolve to speak sweetly and remain friends.

This is a special day for the women in Maharashtra when married women are invited for a get-together called ‘Haldi-Kumkum’ and given gifts of any utensil, which the woman of the house purchases on that day.


In Gujarat Sankrant is observed more or less in the same manner as in Maharashtra but with a difference that in Gujarat there is a custom of giving gifts to relatives. The elders in the family give gifts to the younger members of the family. The Gujarati Pundits on this auspicious day grant scholarships to students for higher studies in astrology and philosophy. This festival thus helps the maintenance of social relationships within the family, caste and community.

Kite flying has been associated with this festival in a big way. It has become an internationally well-known event.


In Punjab where December and January are the coldest months of the year, huge bonfires are lit on the eve of Sankrant and which is celebrated as "LOHARI". Sweets, sugarcane and rice are thrown in the bonfires, around which friends and relatives gather together. The following day, which is Sankrant, is celebrated as MAGHI. The Punjabi's dance their famous Bhangra dance till they get exhausted. Then they sit down and eat the sumptuous food that is specially prepared for the occasion.


The 40 days anushthana by the devotees of Ayyappa ends on this day in Sabarimala with a big festival.


In Bundelkhand and Madhya Pradesh this festival of Sankrant is known by the name ‘Sakarat’ and is celebrated with great pomp & merriment accompanied by lot of sweets.

Tribals of Orissa:-

Many tribals in our country start their New Year from the day of Sankrant by lighting bonfires, dancing and eating their particular dishes sitting together. The Bhuya tribals of Orissa have their Maghyatra in which small home-made articles are put for sale.


In Assam, the festival is celebrated as Bhogali Bihu.

Coastal Region:-

In the coastal regions, it is a harvest festival dedicated to Indra.

How to Celebrate:-

1. Get up early in the morning, before sunrise, have bath and be ready with water & flowers for the sunrise. Worship the rising Sun, by offering water, flowers with both the hands & then pray with folded hands by chanting the Gayatri Mantra and pray for knowledge, wisdom and enlightenment to rise in the similar way to greater & greater heights. Pray for blessings to live a dynamic, inspired & righteous life.

2. Do tarpan for your ancestors. Offer water to the ancestors while praying for their blessings. Resolve to redeem the pledges & pride of your forefathers. Live life in such a way that wherever your forefathers may be their head is held high by the life & deeds of their children.

3. Have a special session of Meditation, wherein you bring about the awareness of the self-effulgent subjective divinity. Affirm the greatest importance of your spiritual goal very clearly, and pray to God to bless you with the capacity to constantly revel in your true self. May the graph of your rise like the Uttarayana Sun. May there be greater 'Love & Light' in your life & the world.

4. Prepare laddus or other sweets of Til & Gur and offer them to your friends & relatives. See to it that your ‘Well-being Prayer for all’ gets manifested in action & deeds. 

5. Have the lunch of Khichiri. This stands for inculcating simplicity in your life & habits.

6. Give some Daan on this day to someone who truly deserves.

7. Visit your son at his place and give presents to the son and the daughter-in-law. If it is not possible to visit, then organize to send presents to them to express your love & affection to them. Work to properly cultivate the generation, which has to carry forward all the best you cherish & value.

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.