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What’s The Significance Of Four Gates Of Jagannath Temple? Why Did It Stir Controversy In Elections?

Some gates remained closed for ongoing renovation work as part of the Srimandir Heritage Corridor project, which aims to preserve and enhance the temple's historical and cultural significance.

Edited By : simran rajpal | Updated: Jun 14, 2024 16:59 IST
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The Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha, a significant Char Dham pilgrimage site, opened all four gates on Thursday due to continuous requests from devotees. This decision was made soon after the new BJP government in Odisha, led by Chief Minister Mohan Majhi, approved it during their first Cabinet meeting.

The temple’s gates have been an essential part of its design and rituals since ancient times. Each gate faces a specific direction and holds special meaning:

  •  Singha Dwara (Lion’s Gate): Facing east, this main entrance symbolizes liberation (moksha). Entering here is believed to lead devotees towards spiritual freedom.
  • Vyaghra Dwara (Tiger Gate): Located in the west, it represents righteousness (dharma). Passing through this gate is seen as upholding moral and ethical values.
  • Hasti Dwara (Elephant Gate): In the north, it stands for prosperity and wealth, and is associated with Maha Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
  •  Ashwa Dwara (Horse Gate): Facing south, this gate symbolizes desire (kama). Entering here requires overcoming worldly desires and attachments.

Why were the gates of Jagannath Temple closed?

The temple gates were initially closed during the COVID-19 pandemic for safety reasons and to follow public health guidelines. This helped prevent the spread of the virus among devotees and temple staff.

Some gates stayed closed to allow for ongoing renovation work as part of the Srimandir Heritage Corridor project, which aims to preserve and enhance the temple’s historical and cultural heritage.

During the 24-year BJD rule in Odisha, a major controversy about the temple involved the missing keys to the Ratna Bhandar, where precious jewelry and stones are kept. The previous state government, led by Naveen Patnaik’s BJD, was also accused of not keeping proper records and inventories of the temple’s treasures. Issues of transparency and allegations of mismanagement, especially regarding the temple’s valuable assets, added to the discontent.

Also Read: Ayodhya: Ram Mandir Next Target Of Jaish-E-Mohammed, Security Tightened After Audio Leaks

First published on: Jun 14, 2024 04:59 PM IST

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