Juggernaut (Jaganatha, "Lord of the World '), or Puri, a town on the south coast of
Orissa, Bengal Presidency, situate between the delta of the Mahanadi and Chilka Lake. It is celebrated for its temple of Vishnu, or Jagannath, as he is here called. Twenty-four festivals are held annually in honour of the Hindu god, attended by many thousands of pilgrims who bring rich offerings. At one of these he is dragged on a high car with sixteen large wheels to his house on the coast. It had been stated by many Christian writers that worshippers had been accustomed to throw themselves by hundreds before the car, which passed over their bodies, and this celebration has until recently been pointed to as a glaring instance of heathen superstitious barbarity; but H. H. Wilson and Sir W. Hunter have shown that the worship of Juggernaut does not involve the voluntary sacrifice of human beings.