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Shri Tota Gopinath Temple, located in Puri, Odisha, is one of the most famous temples. This is the only temple in the whole world where the idol of Lord Krishna is seated. This temple is a hidden gem in Puri. When the idol was found, it was in a standing position. But when Mahaprabhu left Gadadhara, he felt very sad and became weak, causing his back to lean. He couldn’t stand and do seva to Lord Krishna. To help him, Lord Krishna sat down so that he could do his seva. Gadadhara was delighted upon seeing this. The idol of Lord Krishna is known to be very beautiful in this temple. The temple is open from 7 am – 12:30 and from 5 pm – 8 pm. To see the entire pose of the idol of Lord Krishna, one must reach the temple by 5 am.

History Of Shri Tota Gopinath Temple

a beautiful entrance of the Shri Tota Gopinath Temple In Puri.

Image Credit: Sri Sri Tota Gopinath for Facebook

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Lord Krishna, came to earth in the Kaliyuga period on a mission to introduce the chantings of Lord Krishna to the people. He resided as Jagannath Puri and preached Vaishnavism. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu lived in Jagannath Puri for 18 years. When Sri Chaitanya Prabhu was lost in the love of Lord Krishna, he started searching for him. He started taking through the sand near the Govardhana hill and Yamuna river. While he was digging, he found an idol of Lord Krishna. He took that idol and named it Gopinath, and since the idol was found in the Tota, which is a garden, he named it Tota Gopinath. Gadhadhara Pandit, who was an avatar of Shri Radha Rani, came to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and started serving the idol of Gopinath with the utmost love and devotion. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would every day visit Gadhadhara’s house to take a glance at Tota Gopinath, and Gadadhara pandit would every day read Bhagavatam to him.

Must Read: Places To Visit In Puri

Legend Of Shri Tota Gopinath Temple

legends showcasing at the walls of the temple.

Image Credit: Sri Sri Tota Gopinath for Facebook

Devotees will find the legends behind Shri Tota Gopinath very interesting and informative. Shri Tota Gopinath Temple is famous for having its Lord Krishna’s idol in a sitting position, which is very unique. But originally, when the idol was found, it was in a standing position. The body of Gopinath is not to be bent in three places. When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was concluding his Avatar in this world, he entered inside the idol of Totha Gopinath and disappeared. He disappeared into the idol near Gopinath’s knee, which is still visible with a golden line. After this, Gadadhar Pandit became so sad and sick that he got separated from his Lord.

His body slowly deteriorated, and his body got bent. He couldn’t lift his hands up and put a garland or do any kind of decoration on Tota Gopinath. One day, seeing his struggle, Lord Gopinath, in his dream, told him that he would become shorter so that Gadadhara Pandit would continue doing his seva. The next morning, when Gadadhara woke up, he saw that Lord Gopinath was in a sitting position in Padmasana. Gadadhara Pandit became very emotional and happy that Lord Krishna had been listening to his devotees and accepting his seva. From that day on, Lord Gopinath is observed to be worshipped in a seated position.

Places To Visit Near Shri Tota Gopinath Temple

Here are a few places to visit near Tota Gopinath Temple to have a memorable trip.

1. Shri Jagannath Temple

Shri Jagannath Temple puri to explore near Shri Tota Gopinath Temple.

Image Credit: AmlanBiswal25 for Wikimedia Commons

Shri Jagannath Temple, located in Puri, Odisha, is one of the most important temples for Hindus. Lord Vishnu is residing in the temple. This temple was built by King Indradyumna. The temple seen now was built in the 10th century. According to Vaishnavism, there are 108 temples known as Abhimana Kshethram, of which Shri Jagannath Temple is one. The Rath Yatra is one of the most celebrated festivals annually. It is believed that the heart of Lord Krishna is placed inside the idol in this temple. The image of Lord Jagannath is changed every 12 or 19 years to protect the heart from damage. Many Vaishnava saints have stayed in this temple to worship Lord Krishna.

There are three idols inside this temple. They are Lord Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra. This temple is one of the temples of Chardham Yatra. Non-Hindus and foreigners are not allowed inside the temple, which has been controversial for many years. The deity inside this temple is worshipped more by the tribal groups. There are nearly thirty other temples inside this complex. Food offerings and aarti are given to the deity throughout the day, with many sevas going on. The temple is open from 5:30 am – 9 pm. But sometimes, it may differ due to various festivals and rituals. It is better to consult the locals before going to the temple.

Suggested Read: Things To Do In Puri

2. Markandeshwar Temple

The Markandeshwar temple to explore.

Image Credit: The Guide of Markandeshwar Temple on Facebook

Markandeshwar Temple, located in Puri, Odisha, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is located on the north side of Shri Jagannath Temple. This temple is also on the opposite side of the Markandeshwar Mahadev Tank. It is believed that this temple is from the 12th century. It is also believed that when a sage named Markandeya was saved by Lord Shiva, he formed this temple out of his gratitude to Lord Shiva. The rituals conducted in this temple are similar to the rituals conducted in the Jagannath temple.

The tank opposite this temple is used for rituals and bathing before entering the temple. This tank was originally the place where Sage Markandeya used to meditate. Many old sculptures and carvings with missing pieces tell us that this temple was rebuilt. The carvings in this temple are very detailed and beautifully sculpted, which is a marvellous work of those times. This temple is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

3. Aruna Stambha

Idol of Aruna on the top of the temple to visit near Shri tota gopinath temple.

Image Credit: Prateek Pattanaik for Wikimedia Commons

Aruna Stambha, located in Puri, Odisha, is one of the famous destinations. The pillar is sixteen-sided and 34 feet high. This pillar is dedicated to the sun god’s charioteer, Aruna. It is located near one of the gateways to Jagannath Temple. It is one of the most important places in Puri, where many people visit to worship this pillar. This pillar is made up of monolithic chlorite stone. The base of this pillar is carved with military scenes, and the top of the pillar is carved in a lotus shape, on which the idol of Aruna is worshipping Lord Surya.

It is believed that the Sun god is an avatar of Lord Vishnu and hence placed in front of the temple. This pillar was brought from Konark Sun temple, built by King Langula Narsingha Dev in the 13th century and is believed to be nearly 700 years old. The pillar is guarded with iron grills for safety, as well as rituals for the sun god and for the idol Aruna. The Stambha is open to see during the temple timings.

Suggested Read: Holiday Homes In Puri

4. The Golden Beach

A view of the beautiful sunrise at the golden beach

Image Credit: Sambit 1982 for Wikimedia Commons

The golden beach, also known as Puri Beach, is in Puri, Odisha. It is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Odisha. The beach during sunset looks sparkling gold, with the sun rays falling on the water, creating a picture-perfect scenery. The place is most famous for its stunning views of sunrise and sunset. These beach waves are known to be very calm, which makes them a perfect picnic spot to spend time in. There are activities like boating, swimming, water animal shows, a sand museum, local shopping stores, and food stalls around the beach that provide fun experiences. There are various ticket prices for various rides and animal shows. There are also vehicle charges for parking near the beach. The beach festival is one of the most crowded times, with celebrations going on.

Further Read: Offbeat Places In Puri

Now that you have a list of things to keep in mind while visiting Shri Tota Gopinath temple, plan your trip to Puri to have a devotional and memorable trip. By reading the above information, you can easily add various things and famous places nearby to your bucket list and embark on your journey at affordable prices and without any confusion.

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Cover Image Credit: Sri Sri Tota Gopinath on Facebook

Frequently Asked Questions About Shri Tota Gopinath Temple

How to reach Tota Gopinath Temple?

By air, the nearest airport is Bhubaneswar Airport. By rail, there is Puri railway station. By road, there are many local buses and taxis available from various destinations.

What is the best time to visit this temple?

The best time to visit this temple during any season is at 5am. People visiting this temple by 5am have the chance to look at the complete view of Lord Krishna in a sitting position.

Why is the Tota Gopinath temple famous?

Tota Gopinath temple is famous for its Lord Krishna’s idol in a sitting position, which is nowhere else in the world.

Which festival is the most celebrated in this temple?

Krishna Janmashtami is the most celebrated festival at this temple with beautiful decorations, celebrations and rituals going on from a planning of many days.

How far is the golden beach from this temple?

Tota Gopinath Temple is 1.4 km away from the Golden Beach. Tourists can take a small walk to reach this place or catch local transport.

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Category: Odisha, Places To Visit, Temples

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