Saturday, 28 January 2017

Dhabaleswar Shiva Temple, Odisha - where black bull calf became white!!

Dhabaleswar Temple, Cuttack. TripAdvisor

Dhabaleswar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is in a remote island  within the river Mahanadi  on a hill top called Dabalagiri in  Dhauli at a distance of 27 km from the city of Cuttack. Charmed by the serene nature of the terrain and  the temple atop the hill in the middle of greenery and the river,  a lot of people from nearby places visit this place on the weekends for relaxation and religious experience.
Dhabaleswar Temple, CuttackNuaOdisha
This highly embellished temple with amazing stone carved images date back to the early 10th and 11th century. Believed to be built by  Bir Kishor, ruler of Khurda, the original temple was discovered by him during one of his regular hunting trips in the jungle and it was in a bad shape - dilapidated state in the early period. The king not only renovated the temple but also granted lands to take care of it. Besides, the king entrusted the total care of the temple to one Mali. The Mali family founded the village of Malisahi near the temple (around1232 AD). Bhubaneswar Development Authority is in charge of this temple presently.
Dhabaleswartemple, the igol of Shiva. Pinterest
The temple can be accessed either by taking the  water route by ferrying across the Mahanadi river or  trough the the suspension bridge from the other side of the river (Athgarh-end). The distance of Dhabaleswar from Cuttack via two ferry ghats is about 5km. But via suspension bridge (jhula pola in Oriya) from the Athgarh-end   it’s around 37km.  Dhauli is  on the banks of the river Daya, at a distance of 8 kms from Bhubaneswar city in Odisha state of East India. It is a hilly area. Bus services are vailable  via Chowdwar, Nuapatana, and  Mancheshwar. It is  about 57 km by road north of Bhubaneswar via Cuttack & Choudwar.

With rare exceptions, Hindu temples are often associated with some kind of legend or sthala purana that has relevance in today's   mundane world. How did the place get the name Dhabaleswar 

(Dhabala or White + Easwar or God )? 

Once a villager from a neighboring place with a black bull calf was mistaken by the local villagers for a thief.  The stranger with a back bull  calf finally found a safe haven in the sanctum of a Shiva's temple. The villagers who chased the thief heard the calf 's cry in the temple  and were waiting outside the temple to catch the thief.  Fear-stricken, the stranger  sincerely prayed to god to save him from real danger. Lord Shiva, realising his predicament, took the guise of a monk/sanyasi appeared before the angry crowd with a white calf to clear their cause of agitation. On seeing the white calf and confirming the man in the sanctum was not a thief, the crowd dispersed. Soon, Sanyasi  also disappeared and this made the stranger realize the god himself saved his life and honor. He immediately repented  and as an ancient wheeze says, "Confession is the right step to reformation", the stranger told the crowd what had happened and tendered his apology to them. Then on, since Lord Shiva turned the black calf into a white one, he is referred to as Dhabaleswara.  White in Sanskrit and Oriya is referred to as dhabala.

Like many Shiva temples, the major festivals are Shivaratri, Pausha purnima, Dola purnima, and Kartika Purnima  and are celebrated  with devotion and dedication.
There are shrines around the main one dedicated to Ganesha, Kartikeya and eight armed Durga  Unlike other Kalinga temples, where Shiva's consort Parvati is adorned in a niche, there is a  Durga idol in this temple. There is a separate  shrine for the Goddess Dhabaleswari  in this temple. There  are idols of Narayanan and Laksmi in this temple.

Tit-Bits:

01. The temple architecture seems to be of recent origin,  but evidences suggest that the temple was built around 10th century AD. Through ages, considering the location, the temple was subjected to periodic damages  due to natural calamities after renovation.
02. Emperor Ashoka fought a fierce battle against  the King of Kalinga. Ashoka came out victorious after killing more than 250,000 people. Emperor Ashoka was in no mood to celebrate his victory at the cost of thousands of lives. Being a man with scruples, love and peace became his mantras and later he became an ardent follower of Lord Buddha. 

03. A Buddhist shrine  was built on the hilltop  in 1972 by the Japan Buddha Sangh.  

04. Dhabaleswar temple  is located on the  other side of the famous Shanti Stupa.

05.The temple annually  attracts more than 15 lakh and  during panchuka, or the auspicious first five days of the month of Kartika, and bada osha ( auspicious occasion for fasting) more than 10 lakh devotees  come to  the shrine foe prayer and receiving blessings.
Dhabaleswartemple, odisha, Mulpix com.
06.  Dhabaleswar mela, too, attracts huge crowd between January and February each year.
Suspension bridge to the island. pravin Bhushan's Travel Blog!
 07. The other places of attraction are: Choudwar - famous for  Barabati Fort in Cuttack; Chhatia: Though locals call it Chhatiabata, it is well-known for a shrine of Lord Jagannath; Naraj: Known for its barrage over the Mahanadi river, historians link it to many prominent places of Buddhist culture and learning; Chandikhol: Well-known picnic destination surrounded by green hills and perennial streams, the Mahavinayak temple and ashram of Baba Bhairavananda attract a lot of people.

08. Famous Buddist sites of Ratnagiri, Udayagiri, Lalitgiri, Langudi, Tarapur, Vajragiri, Kayama and Deuli are near Chandikhol (Daitari to Paradip expressway) - 40km from Cuttack by road
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Ref:  
 https://www.telegraphindia.com/1111107/jsp/orissa/story_14713878.jsp

http://travel#sulekha#com/dhabaleswar-island#htm Lord Shiva,who made one black bullock into white one

 http://www#orissatourism#gov#in/new/wsdhabal#html Dhabaleshwara,the living god of Cuttack