Lord Krishna is loved and revered so much all across India that you will find thousands of magnificent temples dedicated to this adorable incarnation of the Divine Spirit. Be it Kerala in the south, Kashmir in the north, or Gujarat and Tripura in the west and east, the Makhan Chora, Laddoo Gopal, Radha’s paramour, or the eternal charioteer of Arjuna lives in the hearts of millions as their favourite deity. And, as a natural consequence, temples in His honour can be found everywhere. Hence, the answer to “Which is the most powerful temple of Lord Krishna?” is subjective. However, choosing from the names of the most famous and powerful Krishna temples, there would hardly be any second opinion if one selected the Jagannath Temple of Puri in Odisha.
What’s so Unique about Puri’s Jagannath Temple?
Puri’s Lord Jagannath Temple is special for many reasons. First, it is one of the four Char Dham pilgrimage sites that a Hindu is expected to visit at least once in their lifetime. Legend has it that after Lord Krishna succumbed to a hunter’s arrow soon after the Mahabharata war, His mortal remains were cremated, but His heart was left untouched, and it flowed from the west coast of India to the east, finally settling in Puri.
Does Puri House Krishna’s Heart?
King Indradyumna was then the ruler of Puri, and Lord Vishnu appeared in a dream and asked the king to build a temple for Him. One version of the story says the king discovered Krishna’s heart near the shoreline, which is how the famous Jagannath Temple came into being. It is said the heart is alive and well, and every measure is taken to protect it.
Krishna’s Siblings Worshipped
Another unique aspect of the Jagannath Temple is that Jagannath-Krishna is worshipped alongside His siblings, sister Subhadra and brother Balaram. The three deities are represented in wood, and every year during the Jagannath Yatra, they are taken out in the streets in huge chariots amidst festivities and rejoicing until they return to the temple in ten days. All three deities have large faces with wide circular eyes and broad smiles. Jagannath is painted black, Balabhadra is white, and Subhadra is painted saffron. The images must be replaced by new ones every twelve or nineteen years.
Temple Flag Defies the Laws of Physics
Yet another strange phenomenon of the temple is that the flag mounted on the top defies the laws of physics. This is because it always flows in the opposite direction to the wind’s course without any scientific reason backing the anomaly. Then we observe another strange phenomenon—unlike in other temples, not a single bird can be found in and around the premises of the Jagannath Temple.
Furthermore, the food prepared in the temple as “prasad” never goes to waste and feeds from a few hundred mouths to thousands without a single individual going hungry. Yet another unexplained phenomenon is that though the temple is located right next to the ocean, the sound of the waves is completely inaudible as soon as you step inside.
There are many more reasons for choosing Puri’s Jagannath Temple as the most powerful temple of Lord Krishna, but elaborating on them is beyond the scope of this article.
Some of the Biggest Krishna Temples in India
As iterated above, Krishna temples can be found in their thousands across the length and breadth of the country. Of them, Puri’s Jagannath Temple is not the biggest, but it is one of the most-visited sites. The International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) movement has also built many Krishna temples all over India and abroad, and each of them is massive, beautifully built, and maintained. Then, we have the upcoming Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir in Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Once completed, it will become the tallest religious site in the world.
Here is a List of Ten of the Biggest Krishna Temples in India besides the Jagannath, Vrindavan Chandrodaya, and ISKCON temples:
- Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Swamy Temple, Kerala
- Asramam Sree Krishna Swamy Temple, Kerala
- Banke Bihari Temple, Uttar Pradesh
- Bhalka, Gujarat
- Doul Govinda Temple, Assam
- Dwarkadhish Temple, Gujarat
- Jyotisar, Haryana
- Muktidham, Maharashtra
- Prem Mandir, Uttar Pradesh
- Radha Damodar Temple, Junagadh, Gujarat