Loknath Temple is one of the best Shiva Temple situated very near to the famous Lord Jagannath Temple of Puri. It is also one of the famous Hindu temple of Odisha. This temple is built in 11th century. There are many interesting things are there in thisfamous temple of Puri. Read the full article to know all about this and increase your knowledge about the Loknath Temple of Odisha and also you can know how to reach this temple.
About Loknath Temple, Puri
The temple of Shri Lokanatha is situated at a distance of about 2½ kms to the west of Lord Jagannatha temple of Puri. This temple is one of the most important Shaiva shrines of Orissa. As per local people this temple was established by Lord Ramacandra. From the architectural point of view the temple is not so important but from the religious point of view, it occupies an important position in the cultural history of Orissa. The legend says that Lord Rama on his way to Sri Lanka for searching Sita reached Puri and sat with a vow to see Siva here. At that time there was a village (koown as Sabarapalli in local language) nearby. Sabaras (native of that village) presented him a Lau or Lauka (Pumpkin, one type of vegetable) looking like a Siva Linga, Lord Rama installed that as the replica of Siva Linga at that place and prayed Siva to fulfill his desire. From that day this Siva Linga was called ‘Laukanatha’. It is believed that the word Lokanatha is a later innovation from the original word ‘Laukanatha’.
The innermost chamber of the main temple preserves a Shiva linga which is the presiding deity of the temple. This linga is visible to the devotees once in every year. The sanctum including the linga is filled with water throughout the year by a natural fountain. In the night of Pankoddhar Ekadashi (3 days before the famous Shivaratri festival) all the water is bailed out and the Shiva Linga becomes visible and thousands of devotees enable to worship the Lord. According to a local tradition, people who suffer from incurable diseases come here for prayer. The flowers, sandal paste, milk, Curd (yoghurt), honey, beetle leaves, Coconut water, bilva leaves, etc. offered to the God throughout the year remain decomposed in the water creating a special smell and taste being medicated as a whole. people take it as Prasad, in order to be cured from the disese that they suffered for.
The Lokanatha temple has four parts such as Vimana (Main Temple), Jagamohana (Entrance Hall), Natamandapa (Dancing Hall) and Bhogamndapa (Offering Hall). This temple is built in sand stones. The main temple is about 30 feet from the ground level. Most portions of the main temple have been covered with marbles, so the detail architectural features of the main temple are not visible. The outer walls of the main temple housed images of different Deities. The image of Shiva-Parbati is carved on the northern side wall. There is image of Lord Kartikeya on the eastern side wall. The image of four handed Lord Ganesha is carved on the southern side wall. All these side wall images are housed inside small temples. Many small temples are there inside the premises of Lokanatha temple. There is a small temple to the left of the inner courtyard which preserves images of Surya-Narayana and Candra-Narayana. The Satya-Narayan temple within the premises preserves images of Vishnu, Laksmi and several brass idols. On the right side of the entrance to the innercourtyard you will find a figure of Lord Hanuman. The compound of the Lokanatha temple is about 10 feet below the road level. When you enter the lokanatha temple compound by climbing down the stairs from the main road, you will find a big pond (known as Parvati Sagara in local language) at your right side. Devotees wash their hands and feets in this pond before entering into the temple. This pond houses a lot of fishes. Devotees enjoying a lot by offering foods to these fishes.
Lord Lokanatha’s representative image is in the Sri Jagannatha temple, known as Bhandara Lokanatha. He is the guardian deity of the Ratnabhandara (treasure house) of Sri Jagannatha temple. Lokanatha is associated with Lord Jagannath in several festivals like Sivaratri, Candan Yatra and Sital Sasthi. The festival of Shivaratri is observed in the temple of Lokanatha with great devotion. A meeting of Hari and Hara (Siva and Vishnu) takes place on the day. On the Mahashivaratri lot of devotees arrive near the temple to offer their prayer to Lord Lokanatha with great devotion.
Interesting Myth of the Loknath Temple
Like most of the other temples in India which are associated with myths and legends, so is this temple, associated with a legend. According to this, the lingam of this temple was established by Lord Ram. Initially, it was made of a pumpkin, better known as lauka in India.
Festivals Celebrated at Loknath Temple
Of the few festivals performed at the Loknath temple in Puri, the Saranti Samobar Mela is an important one. The upper part of the Sivalinga emits a stream. This symbolizes the holy river Ganga. In fact, the lingam remains immersed under water. When flowers and a mixture of different herbs and sandal paste are offered to the deity, these remain in water. As a result of which, the entire mixture gets decomposed and it emits a different type of smell altogether. This is considered to be medicated and is supposed to contain the blessings of the God. The entire thing is known as the Bilva patra. People consider this to be the prasad, which is meant to cure them from the concerned disease.
Siva Ratri is a special festival here because it is believed that Lord Vishnu meets Lord Siva on this auspicious day. Do visit the Loknath Temple When You Come Down To Puri For Vacation.
How to Reach Lokanath Temple, Puri
As Puri is one of the developed city in Odisha, So there are lots of transport facility available to reach Loknath Temple of Odisha and you can get numbers of Hotels (From Economy Class to Five Star) are there. So this place will be one of the best place in Odisha.
1. Only Hindus are allowed to enter in the temple.
2. Do not carry Shoes, Socks, Camera, Leather articles, Arms and Ammunitions inside the Temple.
3. Outside food materials are prohibited.
4. Smoking is strictly prohibited inside the Temple.
5. Do not pollute or damage Temple premises.