Sakshi Gopala

This is 20km west of Jagannatha Puri in a town called Saksi-Gopala. It is easily reachable by taxi, bus or train. Vrajranabha (Sri Krishna’s great-grandson) installed two Gopala Deities in Vraja Mandala: Saksi-Gopala and Madna Gopala (Madana Mohana). The Saksi-Gopala Deity here, being 5000 years old, is exceptionally special one.

This is an important Temple that is dedicated to Sakshi Gopal. Sakshi Gopal means “The Witness Gopal”. This Deity was originally in Vrndavan. Once two Vidyanagara Brahmins, one elderly and the other young, after touring many places of pilgrimage finally reached Vrindavan. While in Vrindavan, to reciprocate with the younger Brahmin the service he had rendered him, the older Brahmin promised his daughter in marriage. He made this promise before the Gopal Deity in Vrindavan.

Sometime later, after having returned to Vidyanagara, the young Brahmin reminded the older Brahmin of his promise. Due to pressure from his family members, the elderly Brahmin said he could not remember having made any such promise. The young Brahmin then returned to the Vrindavan and told the whole story to Gopalji. Being obliged by the young man’s devotional attitude Sri Gopal followed him to South India, where he bore witness to the elderly Brahmin’s promise. Hence by the Lords grace the marriage was performed. The deity was later moved to Cuttack, then to the Jagannath temple and finally to its present location, 15 km from Puri.