(Last Updated on : 07/06/2014)
Sri Baladev Jew Temple is one of the historic places located in the small town Ichhapur, in Kendrapara District
in the Indian state of Orissa
. The presiding god of the temple is Lord Balabhadra. However Lord Jagannath
, Devi Subhadra
are also worshiped here along with Lord Balabhadra in the Ratna Sinhasan in the main temple. The idol of Goddess Tulsi
has also been erected after the sacred seven steps.
Architecture of Baladev Jew Temple
Baladev Jew Temple covers an area of two acres of land. The total area is divided into 2 parts where the first part includes different temples and second part has been made into a beautiful garden. The boundary wall around the temple is about14 feet high.
The Baladev Jew Temple has four parts are Sri Mandir, Natya Mandir, Bhoga Mandap and Mukhashala. The height of the main temple is 75 feet and its width is 40 feet. Aruna Stambha which is 40 feet high and 4 feet girth stands in front of the temple. Baladev Jew Temple has been constructed with heavy Baulamalia stone in traditional 7-step architecture. The top of the temple is adorned with a white flag that waves restlessly.
Inside the main temple, 3 deities, Sri Baladev Jew, Sri Jagannath and Devi Subhadra are worshipped. They are placed an a platform named as " Ratna Simhasana." There are also many other deities, Sri Govinda Jew, Mahalaxmi, Sri Sudarsan, Sri Balgopal and Shalagrama who are also worshipped.
The middle temple is a bit shorter than the main temple. It has been built in five-step traditional architecture. The ancient Garuda Stambha is inside Jagamohan and it has the Sacred Seven Steps in front of it. Many statues of lion, elephant and even the Navagraha adorn the temple. Idols of Sri Patitapaban and Kshetra Rakshak Sri Hanuman have been placed inside the Batamandir.
Apart from these there are other temples also like the Astasambhu temple
, Baikunthanath temple, Kanak Durga temple, Padapadma temple, Padapadma temple, Basudev temple, Sri Ganesh temple, Revati temple, Tulasi temple, Kalki temple, Shadabhuja Gouranga temple and Sriram temple.
Rituals in Baladev Jew Temple
The deities of Lord Baladev Jew, Lord Jagannath and Goddess Subhadra are adorned with a variety of costumes and are tastefully decorated with ornaments and flowers in different ways during special festivals. This tradition is known as Besha. The Ratha Yatra
here is famous for the Brahma Taladhwaja Rath. Some of the important Beshas are Sri Raghunatha Besha on Chaitra Purnima Festival, Padma Besha on Kartik Purnima Festival and Tulsi Vivah in Kartik. Pushyabhisheka Besha on Pausha Purnima festival, Kanchi Kaveri Besha on Vasant Panchami
festival, Krishna Balarama Besha on Phalguna Purnima festival and others.
There are arrangements for offerings to the deity also. There are 3 main Naivedya offerings (Dhupa) and 3 minor offerings (Abakasha) for the deities daily. These offerings comprises of Morning offering (Sakala Dhupa), Offering at pre-noon (Madhhyanna Dhupa), Rice offering (Dwiprahara Dhupa/ Anna Dhupa), Offering at evening (Sandhya Aarati Dhupa), Rice offering (Nisankhudi Dhupa) and Offering at night (Badasinghar Dhupa). Different types of offerings (Prasad) are made with trained traditional families, called as Supakara and Mekap are engaged solely for deities. Some of the delicacies are highly patronized in different historic regimes.