SRI GUNDICHA MANDIR
Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
For the pleasure of
Sri Sri Jagannatha Baladeva and Subhadra Mai
Every year Sri Sri Jagannatha Baladeva and Subhadra Mai are taken on three separate chariots for the auspicious Rathayatra festival through the Nayapalli area of Bhubaneswar. It is the expressed desire of Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja that at the completion of Rathayatra, the festival continue for another nine days in a specially constructed Gundicha Mandir. Here, many programs are held every evening for Lord Jagannatha's pleasure. Lord Jagannatha enjoys the pastime of Gundicha while many thousands of local people of Bhubaneswar and the surrounding regions come each evening to have darsan of Lord Jagannatha and participate in the festival. A temporary festival tent is constructed each year for the festival with the intention of building a more permanent mandir for Lord Jagannatha. The Sri Gundicha Mandir project is now underway after it's initial conception expressed by Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja well over twenty years ago.
The proposed ISKCON, Sri Gundicha Mandir, now under construction in the Nyapalli district of Bhubaneswar.
Srila Prabhupada's Desire
His Divine Grace Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada visited Odisha in Jan - Feb 1977 to lay the foundation stone for the ISKCON, Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir in Bhubaneswar. Bhubaneswar is mentioned in the Utkala-khanda of the Skanda Purana as being the gateway to Sri Jagannatha Puri and part of the Sri Ksetra Dhama. The Lord of the Universe, Sri Jagannatha with His eternal brother Sri Baladeva and sister Subhadra Mai are the presiding Personalities of this most holy of dhamas, Sri Jagannatha Puri dhama. Srila Prabhupada hearing that his western disciples were not allowed inside Sri Jagannatha Puri temple, developing sulkiness, spoke the following:
“I want to build a Temple in Bhubaneswar just like the Jagannatha Puri temple because my disciples are not allowed there. Jagannatha will come here and stay.”
- His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada
“Prabhupada’s mercy is wonderful! He told me in Mayapur that very day, “You will take me to Orissa.” He took me to his room and said, “Gour Govinda you will take me to Orissa.” Prabhupada was not coming here, because the Western disciples are not allowed to come into Puri temple, so he had developed sulkiness. One person will be there who will break the sulkiness and he caught me. “Oh! You are!” I said, “Yes, Prabhupada you are so merciful now you want to go to Orissa.”
- His Divine Grace Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja speaking about his darsan with His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada in Mayapur after his first initiation.
Following the desire of His Divine Grace Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada a wonderful temple was established in Bhubaneswar that has become the heart of the city - ISKCON Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir, where Sri Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra Mai are worshiped.
In pursuance of Srila Prabhupada's instructions the annual Rathayatra and Gundicha festivals are performed in the Nyapalli district of Bhubaneswar with thousands of people attending.
Lord Jagannatha Will Come!
During Srila Prabhupada's visit to Bhubaneswar in 1977, Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja was inquiring about the installation of the vigraha forms of the Lord for the Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir. Srila Prabhupada said that Sri Sri Gaura Nitai and Sri Sri Krishna Balaram will be made here in Odisha from brass by the expert artists of Odisha. However Sri Sri Jagannatha Baladeva and Subhadra Mai will come on Their own.
Srila Prabhupada had foretold this appearance of Sri Jagannatha in 1977 and his words were fulfilled in a most wonderful way. In 1989, a life member of ISKCON, Bhubaneswar was inspired to approach Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja about Sri Sri Jagannatha Baladeva and Subhadra Mai who were in his home. He desired to bring Them to the temple for proper installation and worship. Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja remembering the instructions of Srila Prabhupada accepted the proposal.
Their Lordships were installed on Their respective altars in Feb 1991 during the grand opening of the Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir.
Lord Jagannatha's First Rathayatra
In the same year, Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja had instructed that three chariots be made for Sri Sri Jagannatha Baladeva and Subhadra Mai so Their first Rathayatra would be a grand procession. The chariots should be pulled by devotees all the way to a Gundicha Mandir where the Lord will enjoy nine days of Gundicha pastimes and a grand festival.
A Gundicha Mandir with the atmosphere of Sri Vrndavan was to be constructed for this purpose. Temporary construction has been used to date but due to the strong desire of the devotees of ISKCON, Bhubaneswar and kind contributions of devotees, members, donors and patrons the permanent Sri Gundicha Mandir is now under construction.
The project is still in need of encouragement and support by offering donations or service. Please contact H. G. Drubha Maharaja Prabhu, temple president of ISKCON, Bhubaneswar:
Phone: (0674) 2553517