29 June 2019
Puri: Barely a couple of months after very severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ ripped the coastal district of Puri apart, the pilgrim city is gearing up for the annual sojourn of the holy Trinity.
Ever wondered as to why the fury of the sea did not enter the peripheral boundaries of Puri or drown the nearby structures in Puri during ‘Fani’. According to a well-known folklore, Lord Hanuman is chained at the shore by Lord Jagannath commanding him to be vigilant day and night. It is the duty of Bedi Hanuman (Hanuman in chains) to see that the sea does not cross its limits and enter the peripheral boundaries of Puri.
A small sea side temple facing towards east is dedicated to Lord Bedi Hanuman (also known as Daria Mahavir). The temple is located on the west of Chakrathritha road.
As per popular folklore, Daria Mahavir was given the duty to protect Sankha Kshetra Puri against the fury of the sea. But, as per his inherent nature, Lord Hanuman loved fruits and sweets. He was fed up with eating the rice meal daily, and fled to Ayodhya without informing Lord Jagannath. Meanwhile, Varuna, the God of the Sea, was free to come to the Jagannath Temple to pay his respects to the Lord.
This caused sea water to enter the city which caused considerable damage to the city and the temple. The devotees panicked and prayed to Lord Jagannath.
When the Lord learnt about his unscheduled visit, He reckoned Hanuman and reprimanded him for this misdemeanor, He tied the hands and feet of Hanuman with chains (bedi) and gave him a laddu (sweet) to savour.
The priest of the temple elaborated, “Lord Hanuman does not feel the urge to eat sweets as the laddu always remains in his hands. Moreover, he is even unable to leave this place. Since then, the sea has not entered the city. There is a popular belief that any devotee who brings laddus and pedas (sweets) as offering to Lord Hanuman here, his wishes get fulfilled.”
The outer walls of the temple are adorned with images of different deities such as Anjana pampering a baby on her lap on the western side wall, a pedestal holding female divinities on the northern side wall, and Lord Ganesha on the southern side wall.
This temple holds an important place in the cultural history of Puri and adds to the cultural glory of the pilgrim city.