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Goddess Vimala in Puri Jagannath Temple

The worship of Goddess Vimala in the Puri Jagannath Temple complex is a significant aspect of the temple's spiritual and cultural heritage. Goddess Vimala, regarded as a manifestation of Dakshina Kalika, holds a vital place in the Tantric traditions associated with the temple. Here is a detailed expansion on the subject:

Tantric Worship and the Role of Goddess Vimala

Tantric Association:

Goddess Vimala's worship is deeply rooted in Tantric practices, which emphasize the feminine divine and incorporate rituals aimed at achieving spiritual transformation. In the context of the Puri Jagannath Temple, these practices align with the temple's larger ritualistic and spiritual framework.

Bhairavi and Bhairava:

In Tantric cosmology, Lord Jagannatha is considered a form of Bhairava, a fierce manifestation of Shiva associated with destruction and regeneration. Correspondingly, Goddess Vimala is seen as Bhairavi, the consort of Bhairava. This relationship signifies a complementary balance of energies, with Bhairavi embodying the active, dynamic force that aids Bhairava in his cosmic functions.

Manifestation of Dakshina Kalika

Dakshina Kalika:

Dakshina Kalika is one of the most revered forms of Kali, representing the southern direction and associated with liberation and protection. As a manifestation of Dakshina Kalika, Goddess Vimala embodies similar attributes of fierce compassion, protection, and the destruction of negativity.

The Vimala Temple


The Vimala Temple is strategically located on the left side of the main Jagannath Temple, which is significant in Tantric traditions as the left side (Vama) is often associated with Shakti or the feminine principle. This placement underscores her importance within the temple complex.

Historical and Cultural Significance:

The Vimala Temple is an integral part of the Jagannath Temple complex, believed to be older than the main shrine of Jagannath. Devotees traditionally visit Goddess Vimala's shrine before proceeding to worship Lord Jagannatha, indicating her role as the guardian deity of the temple.

Rituals and Animal Sacrifice

Animal Sacrifice:

Historically, animal sacrifice was an essential aspect of the rituals dedicated to Goddess Vimala, reflecting ancient practices of offering blood sacrifices to appease fierce deities. These sacrifices were performed three times a year during specific festivals, emphasizing the goddess's connection to powerful Tantric rituals.

Changes in Practices:

In contemporary times, the practice of animal sacrifice has been largely discontinued due to changing religious sentiments and ethical considerations. However, symbolic offerings and rituals continue to honor Goddess Vimala, maintaining her significance in the temple's ritualistic traditions.

Devotional Practices

Daily Worship:

Daily worship of Goddess Vimala includes traditional offerings such as flowers, incense, and food. Special pujas are conducted during Navaratri and other significant festivals, drawing numerous devotees.


Pilgrims visiting the Puri Jagannath Temple often make it a point to seek blessings from Goddess Vimala, acknowledging her as an essential aspect of their spiritual journey and a powerful protector.

Goddess Vimala's worship in the Puri Jagannath Temple complex exemplifies the rich tapestry of Tantric traditions and the veneration of the divine feminine in Hinduism. Her role as Bhairavi and a manifestation of Dakshina Kalika underscores her significance as a guardian and protector, integral to the spiritual fabric of the temple and its devotees. The historical practices, evolving rituals, and enduring devotion to Goddess Vimala reflect the dynamic interplay of tradition and contemporary religious practice in one of Hinduism's most revered pilgrimage sites.