twenty-two steps ( baisi pahacha ) inside the complex Shree Jagannath temple




The baisi (22) pahacha (steps) or the flight of twenty-two steps inside the complex Shree Jagannath temple considered not only an important part of the temple but also played asignificant role in the life of the devotees. From the simha dwara (eastern gateway of the outer enclosure) the baisi pahacha leads into the temple complex (inner enclosure) in an ascending order.After passing through the simha dwara Baisi Pahacha one has to go up these steps in order to get into the main temple. Though the exact time period of its construction, is not mentioned anywhere in historical record or the puranic literature, legends built by a king named Bhanudeva. say that it was The width and length of the steps are not uniform but vary. The width of the middle 15 steps varies from 5 feet and 10.5 inches to 6 feet and 3 inches and the height is 6 inches to 7 inches. The sizes of the remaining 7 steps and width. The steps are smaller both in length are made of felspar and khodalite. A famous Shiva Linga, named Kashi Biswanath and the idols of Ramachandra, Nrusimha and Ganesh have been installed on the southern side of the baisi pahacha. The history or the mystery of this flight of steps is not properly known. However, these 22 steps highly revered by the people as it is are believed that they possess ‘spiritual animation’.

baisi (22) pahacha (steps)

Numerous holy activities are performed on these steps on different days and occasions. It is said that during the Ratha Yatra (car festival) several gods and goddesses, demi gods, other heavenly entities, the souls of the ancestors [near pitrushila], Chitragupta (minister of Yama Raj) and Yamadootas [near Yamashila] descends upon these steps to witness the pahandi (procession of deities during the Ratha Yatra) of Shree Jagannath. On chaturdashi tithi of the dark fortnight in the month of Margashira (December), Madana Mohan, the representative deity of Shree Jagannath offers pinda dana (shradha or oblation) on these steps to His ancestors i.e., Nanda and Yashoda, Devaki and Vasudeva and Kaushalya and Dasharatha Madana Mohana also offers pinda dana on this baisi pahacha t Gundicha since they were childless.king Indradyumna and queen The devotees while going up the steps (baisi pahacha) must step on a stone called Yamashila engraved into the 3rd step, which, it is believed that frees from the reasons to be punished by Yama (the god of death). But one must not step on this stone on the way back, since it takes away the merits of the darshan of Shree Jagannath. The small rough stone on the seventh step is called pretashila or pitrushila. People who believe to liberate the souls of the deceased mahaprasad (holy rice ofthe temple that has been offered to Shree Jagannath) on it leave anna for feeding the ancestors.

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Festival in Puri


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