Jagannath Temple, Puri
The Jagannath Mandira of Puri is an important Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath, a form of lord Vishnu, located on the eastern coast of India, at Puri in the state of Odisha. The temple is an important pilgrimage destination and one of the four great 'Char Dham' pilgrimage sites, found at India's four cardinal points.
The temple is sacred to all Hindus and especially in those of the Vaishnava traditions. Many great saints, such as Adi Shankaracharya, Ramananda & Ramanuja were closely associated with the temple.
- It was formerly believed that devotees had offered themselves as sacrifices, as in the case of fanatics supposed to have thrown themselves under the wheels of the Juggernaut (Indian Jagannath) car; but it is now held that the rare cases of such apparent self-sacrifice may have been accidents.
- Will Durant, Our Oriental heritage
- This girl, this child, the native of a Christian land, worse than many a little heathen who says its prayers to Brahma and kneels before Juggernaut--this girl is--a liar!
- In this year also Sulaiman Kirrãnî, ruler of Bengal, who gave himself the tide of Hazrati Ãla, and had conquered die city of Katak-u-Banãras, that mine of heathenism, and having made the stronghold of Jagannãth into the home of Islãm, held sway from Kãmru to Orissa, attained the mercy of God.
- About Sultãn Sulaimãn Karrãnî of Bengal in Puri: Muntakhãbut-Tawãrikh, by Mullã Abdul Qãdir Badãunî, translated into English by George S.A. Ranking, Patna Reprint 1973, Vol. I, pp. 166-67.
- After Tãj Khãn, his brother Sulaimãn Karrãni took possession of the province of Gaur and proclaimed his independence' He also made up his mind to demolish all the temples and idol-houses of the infidels. As the biggest temple of the Hindûs was in Orissa and known as Jagannãth, he decided to destroy it and set out in that direction with a well-equipped force. Reaching there, he demolished the idol-house and laid it waste. There was an idol in it known as that of Kishan' Sulaimãn ordered that it be broken into pieces and thrown into the drain. In like manner, he took out seven hundred golden idols from idol-temples in the neighbouring areas' and broke them....
When the armies of Islãm entered that city, the women of the Brahmans, dressed in costly robes, wearing necklaces, covering their heads with colourful scarves and beautifying themselves in every way, took shelter at the back of the temple of Jagannãth. They were told again and again that a Muslim army that had entered the city would capture and take them away, and that those people would desecrate the temple after laying it waste. But the women did not believe it at all. They kept on saying. 'How could it happen? How could the soldiers of the Muslim army cause any injury to the idols?
When the army of Islãm arrived near the temple, it made prisoners of those Hindû women. That is what surprised them most.
- About Sultãn Sulaimãn Karrãnî of Bengal in Puri: Tãrîkh-i-Khãn Jahãn Lodî, in Elliot and Dowson,History of India as told by its own Historians, Vol. V, p. 305-6
- Every Afghãn, who took part in the campaign, obtained as booty one or two gold images. Kãlã Pahãr destroyed the temple of Jagannãth in Puri which contained 700 idols made of gold, the biggest of which weighed 30 mãns.
- About the exploits of Sultãn Sulaimãn Karrãnî of Bengal in Puri: Cited in The Cult of Jagannath and the Regional Tradition of Orrisa by Anncharotte Eschmann et al, New Delhi, second printing. 1981, p. 322. footnote 7. (The History of the Afghans in India AD 1545-1631 by M.A. Rahim (Karachi, 1961) quoting Makhzan-i-Afghãna)