Puri is famous for its five sacred tanks. Pilgrims in Puri must visit the five sacred water bodies and bathe in them ritually. The five sacred water bodies are:
1. Indradyumana Tank: This water tank is half km from Gundica temple. Mahaprabhu took water from here to cleanse Gundica temple. There are 3 main temples here: Indradyumna Maharaja’s temple on left side near tank, a large Saksi Gopala temple on right side and Nilakantesvara Mahadeva Siva temple mid way down the stairs leading to the sarovara.
The Mahabharat describes King Indradyumna’s Ashvamedh Yagna and the advent of the four deities of the Jagannath cult. It describes how the holy Indradyumna tank was formed by the trodding of ground by thousands of cows donated by Indradyumna to Brahmins.To this day the Indradyumna tank is considered holy by pilgrims.
Skanda Purana says that this is the best of all tirthas. Chandana Yatra and Sitala-sthali festival are pompously celebrated here.
2. Rohini Kunda is a sacred well located within the Jagannath Temple premises, near the Vimala Temple. On the holy kunda there is a symbol of Wheel and a Crow of four feet. Rohini Kund is one of the five Panchatirthas of Jagannath Puri Dham, and the daru-brahma sacred log from which the original image of Lord Jagannatha was carved is said to have been found floating in this holy tank.
The water of the origin of the creation is known as ‘Karana Water’. This water is secretely stored in this Rohini Kunda.
The hunter Jara Savara accidentally killed Krishna and cremated him. Krishna appeared in Jara’s dreams and told him that his remains would transform into a log that would float from the sea to the Rohini Kunda.Indradyumna with Jara’s help located the holy log from which the idol of Jagannath was carved. The rohini Kund is also associated with miracles associated with lord brahma.
Another incident is also spoken by people about Rohini Kunda. After constructing the temple of Lord Jagannath King Indradyumna invited Brahma for its fullpledged stature. At that time King Galamadhava possessed the temple and demanded that the temple belonged to him. On the presence of Brahma the dispute came to a close. Both the crow and the wheel witnessed on the side of King Indradyumna and stayed there forever. King Galamadhava remained on the holy water and prayed Lord Jagannath forever.
3. Markandeya Sarovara is considered the starting point of pilgrimage, for pilgrims to Puri. The Markandeya Tank is supposed to be at the site where god saved sage Markandeya. At this spot, Markandeya is supposed to have meditated for a very long time.
This large tank is located south-west of Jagannatha Mandira in Markandeshwar-sahi area. The water body is around 4 acres in size with the Markandeshwar Temple dedicated to Shiva situated beside it.
If one bathes in Markandeya Sarovara and then takes darshan of Markandesvara Mahadeva, he obtains the pious result of performing rajasuya and asvamedha-yajnas.
4. Swetaganga Tank is located to the south of Nilachal. According to Mahabharat the Swetaganga is created from the nail of Lord Vishnu. The Swetaganga is situated in between Lions gate and Swargadwar. This Ganga is from the bottom of the earth and the wateris sacred. Before visiting Lord Jagannath the pilgrims after bathed in Sea again takes a bath on Swetaganga and visits Lord Jagannath.
It is believed that there is an internal connection between Swetaganga and the river Ganga. On the bank of this pond are two small temples, dedicated to the Matsya Avatar of Vishnu and King Sweta are located on the banks of the tank..
5. Mahodadhi: Ocean here is not just a pilgrimage place; it is a maha-tirtha, a great pilgrimage site. The Sea also called the Mahodadhi is considered a sacred bathing spot in the Swargadwar area.
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