deities of the Puri temple are generally known as the Trimurti (trinity) and
as Chaturdhamurti, stated in Chap-3. Some scholars think that originally
was only image of Jagannatha as the object of worship called Nila
and when Nila Madhava disappeared, king Indradyumna fabricated the
of Jagannatha out of a log of wood that was picked up from the sea, as per
divine direction. Scholars suggesting that originally there, were only two
the example of a temple found in the Cuttack district in Orissa belonging
to the seventh century A.D., where the images only of Jagannatha and
have been carved and Subhadra is not to be seen there.
It is, therefore, believed that when there was
a great resurgence of Saktism from
7th century onwards, there was a successful attempt to instal an image of the
goddess (Durga or Sakti) in the Puri temple by the side of Jagannatha.
to some others, installation of the image of Durga or Sakti, who is also
as Bhadra, Mangala etc., might have taken place during the visit of
to Puri. In the Konarka temple built in the 13th century A.D. about
century later than the Puri temple, there is a panel of three images.
seen in the middle and to his left is Durga killing demon Mahisa, while to his
is A linga (phallus) representing Siva. From this, it is deduced by some
that this might have been the original trio of the Puri temple, indicating
equal importance to Vaisnavism, Saktism and Saivism. In such a case, it is
that originally there was one image representing Visnu or Madhava and
and Durga were added subsequently.
There is another theory that Bhadra or Mangala (Durga) came to be
and at the time of Vaisnavite preponderance, she was introduced as
sister, whose name is also Subhadra. Similarly one of the names of Siva
Virabhadra. Somehow, at a time of Vaisnavic efflorescence, he was
into Balabhadra. The second half Of this
name i.e., 'Bhadra' was
and the first half was substituted by Bala.When he was thus
he was introduced as the elder brother of Krisna.
Puranic texts mention that the original images of Puri consisted of Laksmi
Visnu known as Purusottama. a twin figure. Some literary works, bear
to this view too.