india Home

jagannathpuri temple


The Jagannath temple of Puri, Orissa, a state in Eastern India. Patachitras are handmade paintings executed on treated pieces of cloth or impressed on stitched palm leaves (Talapatachitra). The most frequently depicted theme involves the holy Triad of the Jagannath Temple - Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra. This particular Talapatachitra follows tradition in depicting the Jagannath Temple Deities in 'bada-singhara vesha'. During the various ritualistic activities in the temple, Lord Jagannath and his siblings are dressed in various costumes and jewelries ('Veshas'). The most elaborate of them all is the 'bada-singhara vesha' - an attire given to the deities before they are put to bed. In this dress, the three deities wear silk cloths on which the text of the Gita Govinda (a poem cycle by the medieval poet Jayadeva that celebrates the love of Krishna and Radha) is written. They are also garlanded with flowers.

This is the vesha most commonly depicted by the chitrakaras. In this painting, Balabhadra is shown with a white face, oval-shaped eyes, stump arms just below eye level, and a snake's head on top of his own head. Balabhadra, according to legends, is identified with Lord Krishna's sibling Balarama, who himself is identified with the snake god Ananta; hence the iconography of the snake's head. Subhadra is carved with a yellow face, oval-shaped eyes, and she has no arms. Jagannath has a black face, prominent round eyes, and stump arms just below eye level. The characteristic details of lines and colors can be observed in this Talapatachitra. Earthen colors of red, green, yellow and white have been used within a leafy fringe.Sri Jagannath (Lord of the World) is an 'Avatar' or incarnation of Lord Vishnu,the second in the Holy Hindu Trinity of Gods (Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar). The Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa, is dedicated to Him. It is one of the four Holy 'Dhamas' (holy seats) of India including temples at Rameshwaram, Dwaraka, and Badrinath. The Jagannath idol is black in color and lacks proper arms. He is worshipped along with His brother Balabhadra and sister Suvadra.