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The Jagannatha Temple of Puri in India - Coursework Example

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The purpose of the "The Jagannatha Temple of Puri in India" paper is to determine how the structural form of the Jagannatha Temple of Puri, India is related to its ritual functions. It is a holy place of pilgrimage lying in the fertile river delta of the Mahanadi, on the shores of the Bay of Bengal…
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The Jagannatha Temple of Puri in India
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Download file to see previous pages There are distinctive regional differences in the architecture of temples for different deities in the Hindu pantheon of Gods and Goddesses. Besides religious and aesthetic significance, the form is related to various rituals associated with paying obeisance to the presiding deity/ deities. Hindu religious practices believe that a devotee can acquire certain merits by performing various rituals and undertaking pilgrimages. The iconography, sculpture, and temple building facilitate worship through the performance of rituals (Dallapiccola, 2003: 9).

The Hindu temple’s structural form is considered to represent the universe, God, as well as the divine abode. All aspects of the Hindu temple: its design, construction, architecture, decoration, symbolism, and rituals are based on ancient texts called Shastras, and are focused on the goal of man’s enlightenment and liberation. The Vastu Shastra, similar to the Chinese feng shui constitutes the science of architectural conventions. These ancient principles when used in temple design ensured the convergence of structural form with its functions and rituals of deep religious significance (Batchelor, 1997). From ancient times, religious rituals are performed to propitiate, secure wish fulfillment, and obtain favor from the Gods. In Vedic times, from 1500 to 300 B.C., a sophisticated ritual practice developed under the direction of a priestly class, the Brahmins. Ritual and sacrificial offerings were believed to bridge the gap between the human world and that of the Gods, who were identified with the forces of nature (Elgood, 1999: 1).

The Jagannatha Temple in Puri is situated inside a high-walled enclosure which only Hindus may enter. The deity’s name means “Lord of the World”. The temple tower dominates the landscape extensively. The construction of the Jagannatha temple began in A.D. 1136 and was completed around the end of the twelfth century. For the people of Puri Lord Jagannatha is a special God. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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