--> Skip to main content

Aruna Stambha in front of Puri Jagannath Temple

A devotee sees Aruna Stambha when the devotee approaches the Srimandira (Puri Jagannath Temple) on Bada Danda. It is the tall sun pillar and is located near the eastern entrance of the temple.

Aruna Stambha height is 34 feet. The pillar measures 33 feet 8 inches (10.2616 meters) in height. The diameter of the pillar is 2 feet.

The sixteen-sided polygonal polished monolithic chlorite pillar has a sculpture of Aruna – the charioteer of Surya (the sun god in Hinduism).

The base of the pillar has military scenes and other figures.

Aruna sits on top of the pillar and is seen praying with folded hands. He sits on two layers of lotus flower petals. The entire seat is on an elaborate floral base.

History of Aruna Stambha

It is believed that the pillar was originally located at Konark Sun Temple. It is said that during the reign of Bhoi King Dibyasingha Deva, it was brought from there by Brahmachari Gosain and erected in front of the Puri Jagannath Temple in the 1790s.

The murti of Aruna is in such a way that he is seen as offering prayers to deities in the sanctum sanctorum in the Srimandira.

The image of Aruna is said to be exactly the same level as the platform of the presiding deities in the sanctum sanctorum.

Hindu temples in eastern parts of India have four types of pillars. They are Teja Stambha, Prasanna Stambha, Dharma Stambha and Shakti Stambha. The Teja Stambha or Aruna Stambha is kept in front of the Sun Temple. The Prasanna Stambha is also known as Garuda Stambha and is found in front of Vaishnava temples.

Aruna is the elder brother of Garuda and is generally represented without thighs.

Some people wrongly perceive the sculpture of Aruna to be that of a monkey.

Nilachakra - The Discus or Wheel - and the Flag - Atop Puri Jagannath Temple
Story of Mahaprasad at Puri Jagannath Temple