BHUBANESWAR: If things go as per plan, the 3,000-odd Jagannath temples across India may soon follow a set of uniform calendar of rituals in accordance with the Puri temple. In its efforts to bring about the uniformity, the Jagannath Temple Administration (JTA) will bring together chiefs of more than 1,000 temples from across the country, scholars and Jagannath cult propagators to deliberate on the issue in February.
There are about 3,421 Jagannath temples in India, including 1,638 in Odisha. However, the temples follow their own set of daily rituals and customs as well as annual festivals. The deities at Jagannath Temple of Kolkata’s Writers’ Building are worshipped just once a year on Gundicha Yatra day. At Ratu, in Jharkhand, different images of the deities exist for different occasions.
The endeavour that the Puri temple had embarked on five years back will see a major achievement on February 9 when over 200 scholars and 1,000 representatives from various Jagannath temples from across the country will converge at the first attempt on unification, Puri Gajapati Dibya Singha Deb, also chairman of the Temple Management Committee, has said.
The JTA in consultation with Mukti Mandap, the highest forum of saints and scholars of the Puri Temple, will also hold what is called “Jagannath Paancharatra”, five-day-long spiritual activities. In fact, the convergence in February also aims at making “Jagannath Paancharatra” a fixture in the calendar of all the Jagannath temples of the country.