Located 1.5 km from Jagannath Temple, Puri, Loknath Temple is a major tourist attraction of Odisha. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has been since a long time. The existence of this temple has been made in the old tales on Indian mythology and have often been linked to Lord Ram who had made a stop in Puri and wished to meet Lord Shiva. This temple witnesses a huge crowd of pilgrims who fly from all over the world to have a glimpse of Lord Loknath and a huge number of crowd is visible during Maha Shivratri. The strong belief of getting rid of all the problem one is facing and attaining salvation is what has been the crowd attracting factor of this temple. People who still find aid here believe that Loknath Temple is a place where one can find that true serendipity and peace of mind. The temple has always seen a huge crowd all the year but that has never stopped a single pilgrim from getting a glimpse of the lingam.
Having a look of old paintings, Loknath Temple is an excellent example of simple yet brilliant architecture. The premises of the temple is divided into four main parts- Vimana, Nata Mandapa, Bhoga Mandapa, and Jagmohana. Amongst these, Vimana is considered the main temple and is above 30 feet off the ground. It has images of God Shiva, Ganesha, Kartikeya and Goddess Shakti. The images of Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti are placed on the northern side of the wall whereas Lord Ganesha’s image is found on southern wall and Lord Kartikeya’s image on the northern wall. The majority of the temple is made up of marble with no such architectural carvings to be seen.
The Loknath Temple is a place filled with legends but the prominent one is of the time when Lord Rama, while travelling to Sri Lanka, made a stop in Puri and vowed to meet Lord Shiva there. According to the legend, there was a village nearby called Sabrapalli, who, upon hearing the wish of Lord rama, offered him a pumpkin (Lau or Lauka) which was in a shape of a Lingam. On receiving this, Lord rama established that pumpkin here and worshipped it with his true faith and hence the name Lauknath which was later called as Loknath.
Best Time to Visit
All the year pilgrims keep pouring in, but to witness the ultimate religious side of Puri, try visiting the temple around July-September, i.e., Monsoon in India. Also try to visit during the grand celebrations during Pankhodar Ekadashi. This is observed three days before Maha Shivratri when the Lingam comes out of water. The devotees believe that the other days of the year, Ganga keeps the lingam below water because of this reason only.
Nearby Tourist Attractions
Though this place is a pilgrim spot but one can witness other attractions which have also been a reason for alluring the tourists to visit Puri.
- Gundicha Temple
- Vimala Temple
- Puri Beach
- Jagannath Temple
- Swargadwar Beach