Penguin story

The temple town of Puri in Orissa, one of the four most sacred sites of Hindus, has been a major centre of Vaishnavism.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2004 11:58 IST
PTI

The temple town of Puri in Orissa, one of the four most sacred sites of Hindus, has been a major centre of Vaishnavism for almost a millennium. A deity of great antiquity, earlier known as Purushottama and Nilamadhava, Sri Jagannatha, the presiding deity of its main temple, considered as the creator of incarnations and a manifestation of the supreme divinity is identified with Krishna and Vishnu. His palatial temple, Srimandira, was built in the twelfth century.

Numerous saint poets have poured out their most intimate personal communication to their Dark Darling of the Blue Hill in enchanting lyrical compositions. These songs, hymns to Jagannatha have been sung by devotees for ages and are part of a living tradition even today. Blue Hill, Hymns to Lord Jagannatha includes several of the most popular songs composed over twelve centuries Suhas Pani, who has specialised in translating lyrical compositions in Sanskrit and Oriya, captures the flavour of the original musical compositions in a simple, lyrical style in English verse, besides providing a deep insight into the cultural content with a rich tradition of myths, legends, history, rites, rituals and colourful festivals.

First Published: Feb 06, 2004 21:03 IST