There are some legends regarding the origin of the Jagannath temple at Jagannathpur. According to the tribes, an Oraon servant of the Thakur of Barkagarh Estate, within which Jagannathpur falls, had accompanied the Thakur to Puri. The Oraon servant had become an ardent devotee of Lord Jagannath at Puri and fasted continuously for seven days and nights. After fasting for a week he felt hungry at about mid-night and asked for food when everyone was asleep. In few words he muttered that he was hungry and suddenly he saw a man bringing him food and water in gold vessels. The temple authorities in the next morning found that the gold vessels, which were the property of the Mandir, were missing from the locked room. The servant produced the gold vessels which had been left by his side. Every one understood that Lord Jagannath himself had brought food to him in the gold vessels. He was pleased with the Oraon's devotion. The Thakur had a dream that he must construct a temple of Jagannath and preserve the images of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra at Jagannathpur. On his return the Thakur did as he saw in the dream.
The second legend is that the Thakur was a devotee of Lord Jagannath and used to visit Puri frequently for darshan. He was being harassed continuously by the horse-men of the Peshwas and he prayed to Lord Jagannath for help. The enemies ran away. The thakur built the temple at Jagannathpur.
The third legend is that Thakur had a dream in which Lord Jagannath himself directed him to build a temple at Jagannathpur, which he did. The Jagannath temple is built according to the model of the Jagannath temple at Puri. The annual car festival is held at Jagannathpur with great pomp and ceremony. On the day of rathayatra thousands of people congregate and the idols are placed with due ceremonials in the chariots. The chariot is drawn by men, women and children accompanied with loud music of drums and cymbals. The chariots with the deities of Lord Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadraare taken to the Mousi Bari where they remain for a week. Then on the Ultaratha day, the chariots are pulled back with the same festivities. The rathayatra at Jagannathpur is the biggest religious and social event in the Ranchi district.