Monuments : New Global Sea Level Monitors
Archaeological monuments may be used as “Global Sea Level Monitors”.
source: wikimidea commons
The Puri Sree Jagnnath Temple and the Konark Sun Temple are two awe-inspiring archaeological monuments , standing for almost 800 years with extraordinary majesty and splendor near the coast of Bay of Bengal in Odisha.
The height of Shree Jagannath temple at Puri is 214 feet and 8 inches from the road level and it is believed that the main temple (the curvilinear tower which has been completely ruined ) at Konark was even taller than that of Shree Jagannath temple . Both temples were built between the 12th and 13th centuries. The fine structure and architectural details of both the temples are mainly depicted on the metamorphic stone khandolite abundantly available in Eastern Ghat Mountain ranges of Odisha. Upper Gondwana Aathgad Sandstone has been mainly used for the restoration and some other supporting works of Sree Jagnnath Temple and other temples in the precincts….. The interior of the Shri Jagannath Temple, also known as the sanctum sanctorum, houses the gemstone throne of Lord Jagannath( Ratna Simhasan of Daru Diyan)
It is believed that the gemstone throne is covered by many precious gemstones (gemstones that are widely found in western Odisha). It is also believed that there were a large amount of gemstones studded in the uppermost pinnacle ( better known as Amla stone) set at the apex of the temple (Dadhinauti).
The Aruna pillar( Aruna Stambha) in front of the Lion Gate (which is standing on the ground level) is having a total height of 33 feet and 8 inches ( including the pedestal to the top of the sculpture of the Charioteer ‘Arun’ in a prayer mode).The ‘Aruna Stambha‘ is a sixteen sided monolithic chlorite column (made of a single stone) which is of 25 feet and 2 inches in height, 2 feet in diameter and 6 feet and 3.5 inches in circumference.
The foundations of the Arun Pillar are about 2.5 km from the coast and about 4 m above sea level.It was relocated from Konark to Puri during the Marathas. The Madala Panji ( The Shree Jagannath temple chronicle) records that during the time of Divyasingh Deva, the Maratha Guru Brahmachari Gosain brought this from Konark and re-erected in front of Singha Dwara in the last quarter of 18th century. Since ‘Arun’ is the Charioteer of the sun god, the Arun pillar existed from the beginning in front of the Sun Temple, which was designed as a chariot. Surprisingly, the upper limit of the Arun pillar is approximately the same as the lower limit of the gemstone throne (Ratna Simhasan) .
To reach the entrance to the sanctum sanctorum, one must first ascend the Baishi Pahacha(stairway comprising of twenty two steps) from the Lion Gate(Singha Dwara).
The Arun pillar can be considered as a standard if the city of Puri is flooded in the event of a cyclone ( as happened in some parts of Odisha during supercyclone in the year 1999 ,when high-rise sea waves of about 10 – 12 meters height intruded in to the landmass and sweeps the area and floods vast areas) or when a tsunami strikes.
The Arun pillar can monitor the rise of the sea and the safety of the gemstone throne ( Ratna Simhasan)of the Lord Jagannath inside the sanctum sanctorum ( better known as Garbha Gruha).
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Dr. Manoj Mishra
Very Informative .
The present sea shore lies at a distance of 2 to 3 kilometres from both the temples . Geological evidences suggest that the sea has receded back by 2 to 3 km within the last 800 years in this coastal tract… Obviously then the temples were built much closer to the seashore near river mouths …
The article has brought to fore many intricacies which are not known to many.
We should appriciate and thank the righter .
Thank you Sir for your appreciation.
Thanks for this interesting article dr mishra
Ratna Simhasan Uww very nice & thanks thats a new one on me! I love Sanskrit & yes it sounds wonderful wow jai jagannath
Along with all this information, let us remember Saint Achutyananda’s prediction ” Baeesi pahachare mina khelibe”.
As the day passes by, the MALIKA BACHAN appears more and more relevant.