Importance of Gundicha Temple
Gundicha Temple receives a lot of importance during the Rath Yatra when the idols of Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra are placed here. As the yatra starts from the Jagannath temple, carrying the idols of Lord Jaganath, Subhadra and Balabhadra, it ends at the house of Jagannath's aunt's house or Gundicha temple. The deities are kept for seven days after which they make a return journey to the Jagannath temple in a similar manner with similar processions.
Architecture of Gundicha Temple
Gundicha Temple is known as the Garden House of Jagannath. Gundicha temple stands in the centre of a beautiful garden, surrounded by compound walls on all sides. It lies at a distance of about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from the Shrimandira, the main temple of Jagannath. The two temples are located at the two ends of the Bada Danda (Grand Avenue) which is the pathway for the Rath Yatra. Gundicha Temple is known for its simple architecture. Like other temples of Odisha, this temple also has a colourful entrance while the inner layout is much similar. The temple is thoroughly cleansed before the arrival of the lords. This temple is named after King Indradyumna who was also known as Gundicha. While the temple is one of the most simply constructed temples of Odisha, its most striking feature is its shikhara which carries the wheel of Lord Vishnu.
Ratha Yatra in Gundicha Temple
Rath Yatra starts on the second lunar day, the bright fortnight, of the Hindu month of Ashadha. One day before the Ratha Yatra, Gundicha Temple is religiously cleansed for housing the God Jagannatha, Balarama and Shubhadra. On the first day of the yatra, the deities are transported in chariots from the main temple to Gundicha temple. The three deities are transported in three magnificent chariots, drawn by the numerous devotees gathered there. The three chariots involved in the chariot procession are: one for each deity with central chariot called the Nandighosha, carrying the main deity of Jagannath and the second chariot known as Taladhwaja carrying Balabhadra, and the third chariot called the Darpadalana carrying Subhadra. The procession progresses down the 3 km long "Bada Danda" (long avenue) and reaches the gates of the Gundicha temple before nightfall. The deities remain in the chariots on the first day and enter the Gundicha Temple on the second day. They reside at the Gundicha temple for the subsequent seven days.