One can also visit the shrine of Goddess Gundicha Devi- where Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra & Goddess Subhadra rest for 9 days during Ratha Jatra, Loknath Temple, Sonar Guaranga, Siddha Bakul, Chakratirtha and water tanks like Narendra, Swetaganga, Markandeya, Indradyumna which have a strong historical imprint on the religious activities of the temple and various Matha’s sprinkled across the city. Prominent ones are the Govardhana matha, Jagannath Ballav matha, Radhakanta matha, Bauli matha etc. Each of the these matha’s have a particular religious’ significance and historical incident attached to it, which adds to the legend of Puri & Lord Jagannath.
Puri is also home to rare Odiya art and handicrafts- for the art and handicraft lovers - a visit to the bylanes of city like the Chitrakar Sahi, Pathuria Sahi, Kundheibenta Sahi- is a must. You would be well advised to chuck your four wheeler and opt for a cycle rickshaw to visit these places to get a better feel of the temple town.
Influence of Lord Jagannath on Guru Nanak
Under the din of mysticism of Lord Jagannath, lies a little known yet significant manifestation of the Lord’s cult, his profound impact on Guru Nanak. Coupled with the Lord’s impact on Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Kabir to name a few which is well documented….one can say Lord Jagannath was the divine driving force behind the Bhakti movement.
Bauli Matha– This place is of particular importance for Sikhs. It’s located just 3.5 KM from the main hub of Puri towards Swargadwar opposite Ganguram sweets stall.
The Sikhs treat this place as a Gurudwara. It is said that Guru Nanak rested and mediated on this place when he visited Puri & he asked his disciple’s to dig a hole on a particular spot, to quench their thirst. Today it’s a well, known as “Dedhasur Bhai Bohu Kua” which used to be a fresh water well till recently. The other aspect worth a mention is Lord Jagannath’s idol resides besides the Gurudwara in the math.
Mangu Matha– After his visit to the temple. Nanak sat down under a tree to preach his philosophy to the people. He is believed to have shown his palm where the trimurty to Lord, Jagannath, Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra was etched in his palm.
The Bauli matha and Mangu matha both have the Granth Sahib and the relevance of the Guru’s visit is recorded. Nanak thus universalized the Lord Jagannath cult and established the lord at the core of his heart.