Over 200 years ago, Bhagwan Swaminarayan, who at the time was 14-years-old and known as Nilkanth Varni ,stayed for six months in Jagannathpuri during his 7-year pilgrimage of India. Here, the then Maharaja realized Nilkanth Varni's divinity and honored Him by seating Him on the chariot with Lord Jagannathji during the annual Rath Yatra festival.
Known as 'Puri' for short, it is one of the holiest pilgrim places of Hindus, visited by millions annually.
After the super cyclone in 1999 in Orissa, following which the BAPS contributed tremendously to the emergency and rehabilitation relief work, Pramukh Swami Maharaj inaugurated a small mandir, installing the murtis of Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj. Since then, Satsang has gradually continued to grow and a 6,000 sq. ft. plot of land was acquired on Chakratirth a Road, near the Indradyumna Sea.
There, on Vijya Dashmi, 22 October 2004, the traditional Vedic shilanyas ceremony for a new BAPS mandir was performed by Ghanshyamcharan Swami and Bhagvatpriya Swami in the presence of the Maharaja of Jagannathpuri, Shri Shri Gajapati Maharaja.
Also present on this auspicious occasion were Shri Maheshwar Mohanti, Speaker of the Rajya Sabha of Orissa; Shri Damodar Raout, Minister of Panchayats; and Shri Surendranath Nayak, Minister for Agriculture.
The main participants in the shilanyas ceremony were Shri Bhavesh Sheth, editor of 'Halchal' weekly, and Sanjay Shah.
In the assembly after the traditional assembly, there were speeches by the BAPS sadhus in English, Udiya and Hindi and by the invited guests.
Shri Maheshwar Mohanti remarked, "Through His values and compassion, Bhagwan Swaminarayan has effected great transformations throughout india."
This auspicious occasion was attended by many devotees and well wishers from neighboring villages and a large contigent of devotees from Kolkata.