Why is there No Shadow of the Jagannath Temple in Puri?

Why is there No Shadow of the Jagannath Temple in Puri?

The claim that the Jagannath Temple in Puri casts no shadow is a fascinating one, but it’s not entirely accurate. There are two perspectives to consider:

Myth and Legend

Many believe the temple’s lack of a shadow is a divine phenomenon, with stories attributing it to Lord Jagannath’s power or protection. Legends claim the divine architect himself positioned the temple to avoid casting a shadow, or that Lord Hanuman holds the shadow on his shoulders.

Science and Architecture

While the temple undoubtedly creates a smaller and less noticeable shadow due to its unique design, it does technically cast one, especially during specific times of day and depending on the observer’s location. The factors contributing to this:

  • Temple Positioning: The temple is situated east-west, aligning with the sunrise and sunset. This means it casts a long shadow in the morning and evening, but the shadow falls on itself or nearby structures, making it less visible from certain angles.
  • Pyramid-Shaped Roof: The main sanctum (Garbha Griha) features a towering pyramid-shaped roof, also known as the “deul.” This design reflects sunlight upwards, minimizing the shadow cast on the ground.
  • Surrounding Structures: The temple complex is surrounded by other buildings and walls, further obscuring the view of any potential shadow.

So, while the shadow might be less evident, it’s not entirely absent. The combination of architectural design, positioning, and surrounding structures collectively contributes to the perception of a shadowless temple, fueling the intriguing stories and beliefs associated with it.

Remember, scientific understanding and religious beliefs can coexist, offering different perspectives on the same phenomenon.

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