Meghanada Prachira, the outer wall of Shree Jagannath temple has four large gates in four directions. At present most devotees enter the temple through the main gate named Singha Dwara (Lions Gate), which faces the east. In the west the same Meghanada Prachira opens up through the Byaghra Dwara (Tigers Gate). The Ashwa Dwara (Horses Gate) welcomes devotees in the north direction, while the Hasti Dwara (Elephants Gate) is in the south direction.
Idols of animals that these gates are named after add to beauty of these massive gates. Navagraha (nine planets) reliefs are carved on the architrave or the main beam above the doorways. These four outer gates lead the devotees to four similar large gates in the inner wall of the temple, which is called Kurma Bedha.
The four gates of Shree Jagannath temple also represent spiritual essence of Indian philosophy. According to some seers these gates represent Dharma (right conduct), Jnana (knowledge), Vairagya (renunciation) and Aishwarya (prosperity). They are also said to be the representation of Chaturvarga or four important concepts for self-realisation in Indian scriptures. The Singha Dwara represents the Dharma, Hasti Dwara is for Artha (affluence), Kama (Desire) is represented by the Ashwa Dwara and Moksha (liberation) is for the Byaghra Dwara.
All the four gates of the temple lead to the inner sanctum of Shree Jagannath. It makes the devotees realise that when their right action, affluence, desires and aspiration to get liberated lead towards the Almighty, they get face to face with the real identity of Lord of the Universe, Shree Jagannath.