DEVOTEES TRAVEL TO HOLY DHAMAS to honor different pastime places of Lord Hari and His pure devotees. Since most pastimes occurred long ago, the sites usually show much change over time, and it is difficult to see the true nature of a place as it was when the Lord performed His pastimes. We see one tree where once there was lush greenery; a broken house where formerly stood a temple rich with devotion to the Lord; some stones or a dry hole where there once was a deep, picturesque pond. What, then, can be understood of these places if we do not hear of them? Unless we hear the glories of the pastime places of the Lord, we do not develop much faith in their potency or even their existence. Such places are not seen through the eyes but realized through the ears by hearing of their glories from pure devotees of the Lord.
There are many books written about Navadvipa-mandala and Vraja-tnandala pari-kramas. But until now, no English book has provided elaborate information about the holy sites of Sri-lcsetra-dhama. Since the year 2005, ISKCON devotees have been organizing Sri-ksetra-parikrama on the recommended tithi on the Vaishava calendar. Initially I had a great desire behind my efforts to organize this parikrama, and that was to speak Jagannatha-kasha to devotees who come for Puri parikrama. However, being one of the organizers left me little time and even less opportunity to speak with devotees and share the pastimes and stories connected to the holy places. Every year more and more devotees join the parikrama. Consequently, the time left for parikrama-kasha decreases in proportion to the increase of devotees joining the parikrama. Finally I realized the only way I would be able to share the glories of Puri-dhama with devotees was to put all the information and stories I had collected into a book, thus al-lowing me to offer service to devotees and assist in making their visit to Puri more informative, full of nectar, and, hopefully, more memorable.
I have tried my best to gather as much information as possible. This is not a guide book filled with practical information like where to eat and where to stay, and so on. This is a parikrama book with information about many ancient temples and sites related to the pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Every time I visited Puri for the purpose of gathering information, I discovered more and more in the way of pastimes, holy sites, and local stories relating to each place. Finally I decided that I simply had to publish this book with whatever material I had received, be it scriptural references or based on local lore. Many pastimes of Mahaprabhu have been taken directly or adapted from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta as translated by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Sala Prabhupada. Some information is taken from the book Sri Ksetra, written by ripada Sundarananda Vidovinoda. I am very grateful to Sri Krsnadasa Babaji Maharaja and Sri Nityananda dasa Brahmacari for taking me around Puri to collect information. In Puri there are several temples of associates of Mahaprabhu that are unfortunately in a very miserable condition, and whose existence are not even known to most devotees. Likewise there are many very beautiful deities of Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai and Sri Sri Radha-Krsna that were worshipped by great associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and which are in dire need of attention. To form a trust that will tend to the financial needs of these neglected temples and deities is an urgent necessity. I pray that anyone who reads this book and is so inspired will come forward and offer their assistance, thus assuring the existence of these most holy sites for many generations to come.
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