Vimala Temple

Vimala Temple
Vimala Temple

Bimala Shaktipeeth, an ancient shrine devoted to Goddess Vimala or Bimala, is one of the four Adi Shakti Peethas located in Puri. This sacred temple stands next to Jagannath Temple and Rohini Kund inside the complex of Puri temple. It is said that Satidevi’s feet first touched here at this very location – a belief deeply held by devotees from all over India who come to pay their respects every year. The other names for this spiritual place are Sri Vimalamba Shakti Peeth Temple, Puri Shakti Peeth, Sri Vimala Temple, and Sri Bimila Temple.

The image of goddess Bimala is crafted from exquisite chlorite stone and resides atop a full, blossoming lotus pedestal within the temple. She appears in her divine manifestation as Bhairabi with four hands outstretched, one holding an Akshyamala rosary, another clasping a Nagaphasa serpent, yet another grasping an Amrit Kalasa pot of ambrosia–and finally displaying Varada-pose to bless all who witness her beauty.

Bimala is recognized as a symbol of grand delusion. She serves as the Kriya-shakti (power of action) for Lord Balabhadra, Ichha-shakti (potency of intent) for Subhadra, and Maya shakti (the power of illusion) for Lord Jagannath. Moreover…

As an ideal wife, Lakshmi devotedly nursed her ailing husband during the Anavasara period for two weeks without rest. Eventually becoming worn out from sleepless nights, she slumbered off with exhaustion. The moment he noticed that Lakshmi was in deep sleep, Jagannath hastily left to meet his lovers Radharani and the vraja-gopis at Gundicha temple on day 2 of bright half of Asadha month; this important ceremony is known as Gundicha-yatra or Ratha-Yatra.

Waking up a few days later, Lakshmi Devi discovers that her husband has disappeared. Jagannath’s servant explains to her that he went off to visit his girlfriends and with this news, Lakshmi leaves the altar in dejection; taking up residence in the storage room of the temple – an action indicative of a heartbroken wife. Refusing any rich food offerings she opts instead for simple dalua rice and kalamba saga like many impoverished Orissan people would do.

The Vamadev-samhita’s sixteenth chapter depicts Lakshmi approaching Bimala Devi in angst. “Respected elder,” she laments, “you know well Jagannath’s mischievous ways; where did he and his sister go? As his wife, do I not have the right to understand this matter at least?” Her husband’s loose morals leave her disheartened as she is unable to uphold pati-vrata dharma due to his absence and lack of bathing.

There is no bad time to visit Vimala Temple, yet the ideal period stretches from July through March (with the exception of April and June due to high summer). The winter season in particular offers an idyllic atmosphere with its balmy temperature–ideal for a stroll on the beach or perusing nearby temples.

The Shakti Peethas are sacred abodes of the Mother Goddess. To please Shakti and Shiva, Lord Brahma held a yajna, from which arose the powerful Goddess who then assisted in creating the universe. In order to return her to Shiva, Daksha – Brahma’s son – conducted multiple offerings with an aim of obtaining Sati as his daughter. Sadly, when she married Shiva against her father’s wishes he refused to invite him for one of his upcoming sacrifices; yet upon request from devoted wife Sati desiring to see her father once more, Lord Shiva permitted it. There, Daksha insulted Shiva. Unable to bear her father’s disrespect towards her husband, Sati immolated herself. Shiva, in his wrathful form of Veerabhadra, destroyed the yagna and killed Daksha. Lord Shiva carried Sati and wandered throughout Aryavartha in sorrow , the anger and grief of Shiva, manifested as the celestial dance of destruction, the Tandav. Lord Vishu, with the aim of stopping the Tandav, used his Sudarshana Chakra, which cut through the Sati’s corpse. The parts of Sati body fell at varroas spots all through the Indian and neighboring country and these Sacred sites came to be called Shakti Peethas .

By Air
Nearest Airport from Vimala Temple is Bhubaneswar Airport, which is also known as Biju Patnaik International Airport. It is a primary international airport serving Bhubaneswar. It is 60km away from the temple.

By Rail
Taking a train to Puri is an effortless endeavor, thanks to the East Coast Railway’s direct express and super fast links with major cities like New Delhi (Purushottam Express), Mumbai, Kolkata (Puri Howrah Express), Okhla, Ahmedabad, and Tirupati. Located 44 kilometers from Puri town center and just 1 kilometer from the station itself are rickshaw drivers waiting to transport you quickly and safely straight to your hotel in no time at all.

By Road
Whichever way you choose to travel into Puri – be it by public transport, personal vehicle or a bus – there are plenty of options available for getting here. Every 10-15 minutes buses depart from Gundicha Temple to Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Additionally, minibusses leave from Jatiababa Chhak every 20-30 minutes towards Konark. Direct buses are also running between the cities of Kolkata and Visakhapatnam daily!

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