Dedicated to Lord Krishna and his companion Radha, the Sakshigopal Temple is located in the town of Sakshigopal, 19 km from Puri. This medieval temple was made in the Kalingan architectural style. Devotees come here in large numbers and offer wheat to the deity, instead of rice. This is an exception as in most Vishnu-worshipping temples rice is offered. Amla Navami is a famous festival celebrated here.
Origin of the Temple
People believe that a poor man, who later came to be known as Sakhigopal fell in love with the village headman’s daughter and asked for her hand in marriage. However, seeing the difference in their economic status, his proposal was rejected. Later, all the villagers, along with the headman and Sakhigopal, went to Kashi on a pilgrimage. There the headman fell ill and none of the villagers came to his aid. It was only the young man who tended to him there. Impressed by his concern, the headman promised to marry his daughter with him.
However, after returning, he refused to have made such a promise and asked the young man to produce a witness. Seeing the man’s devotion, Lord Krishna, fondly called Gopal, agreed to bear witness to the promise. The word ‘witness’ translates into Sakshi and hence the temple was named Sakshigopal.
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