This article is from the up and coming publication
Gour Govinda Swami – Who Was He‘ by Tattva-vicara Publications.

Jagannath Temple in Puri

Lord Jagannatha is in Bhubaneswar

After receiving instructions from his spiritual master, Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja went to Orissa and stayed under the most extreme austere conditions on the land in Bhubaneswar that was donated to Srila Prabhupada.

Srila Prabhupada had accepted many Western disciples and taught them the glories of Purusottama-ksetra Jagannatha Puri-dhama where Mahaprabhu performed His pastimes. However when his Western disciples went to visit Jagannatha Puri they were refused entrance to the famous Lord Jagannatha temple. They were badly treated and up till now they are not allowed to enter the Jagannatha temple.

Srila Prabhupada’s Sulkiness for Orissa

When they reported this to Srila Prabhupada he became very sad because he was preaching Mahaprabhu’s and Lord Jagannatha’s glories throughout the world and now the people from Puri would not allow his disciples into the temple. This gave Prabhupada a very great shock and he was very much sorry for it. So he developed a sense of sulkiness [abhiman]. After this incident Srila Prabhupada said that he would not travel to Orissa and especially to Jagannatha Puri. Jagannatha Puri is the favourite place of Sriman Caitanya Mahaprabhu so how could Srila Prabhupada, who is such a dear devotee of Mahaprabhu and who has cent percent received the mercy of Mahaprabhu, in this way spread the message of Mahaprabhu throughout the world and fulfill the prophesies that Mahaprabhu gave?

Jagannatha Will Come to Bhubaneswar

Domes of the Temple in Bhubaneswar

After Gour Govinda Swami’s hari nama initiation in Mayapur, Srila Prabhupada said to Srila Gour Govinda Swami, “You will take me to Orissa”.
Srila Prabhupada placed that responsibility on his head. Srila Prabhupada said to Gour Govinda Swami, “I will build a temple in Bhubaneswar similar to the Jagannatha temple in Jagannatha Puri because my Western disciples are not allowed there. Lord Jagannatha will come and stay in Bhubaneswar. So all my disciples can go there and have His darsana”.

Lord Jagannath in Bhubaneswar

In early 1977 Srila Prabhupada came to Bhubaneswar. There was only a small hut in this deserted area. Although arrangements had been made for Srila Prabhupada to stay comfortably in the state government guesthouse, Prabhupada at once rejected this proposal. He said, “I will only stay where my disciple Gour Govinda has built a mud hut for me.”

When many of Srila Prabhupada’s senior disciples wanted to abandon the Bhubaneswar project and go directly to Jagannatha Puri to start a very large project there, Srila Prabhupada prophesied that some day this temple at Bhubaneswar would be as famous as the Jagannatha temple and would be the centre of the city. Prabhupada stayed in Bhubaneswar for seventeen days, during which he laid the foundation stone of the then temple-to-be on the auspicious occasion of Lord Nityananda’s appearance day. This was Srila Prabhupada’s last founded project.

Srila Prabhupada’s Prophesies Come True

Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON Temple in Bhubaneswar

In 1991, after sixteen years of determined and dedicated endeavours, Srila Gour Govinda Swami fulfilled the instruction of his most beloved spiritual master with the opening of the magnificent Sri Sri Krsna-Balarama Mandir where Lord Jagannatha came as Srila Prabhupada prophesied. This temple is now the centre of the city and attracts thousands of people to Krishna consciousness.

Srila Gour Govinda Swami introduced also the grand Ratha-yatra festival in Bhubaneswar and is held every year at the same date as it is held in Jagannatha-Puri dhama. Currently there is a Gundica temple being built in Bhubaneswar.