“Maha-Tirtha” or “Mahodadhi” – A Great Ocean
Like holy Ganga and Yamuna rivers, the ocean at Puri is a purifying sacred place of pilgrimage. The golden beach of Puri is considered as the greatest among the Tirthas (Tirtharaj) mainly due to the fact that the sacred Daru or the log from which the idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra were made came floating in the sea.
During Nama-acarya Srila Haridasa Thakura’s samadhi ceremony, Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu bathed his transcendental body in the sea and declared, “From today onwards, this sea has become a great pilgrimage site, samudra ei maha-tirtha.” Every day, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would bathe in the ocean and take darsana of the nila-cakra of Lord Jagannatha’s temple, offering obeisances to it. He also instructed His devotees to follow His example and perform these practices.