Of the many beautiful temples situated in the state of Odisha, Dhabaleswar is one magnificent temple situated in the old and sprawling city of Cuttack. The temple is situated on an island i.e. Island of Lord Dhabaleswar. This very island is housed in river Mahanadi. The temple belong to the 14th century. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Dhabaleswar Temple Architecture
The Dhabaleswar temple is built in the characteristic Kalinga style of architecture. Almost all the temples in Odisha are constructed in this style. In this type of architecture the temple has mainly 4 structures. They are mainly known as vimana, Jagamohana, natyamandapa and bhogamandapa. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and houses a Shiva lingum. It is an active temple which practices Shaivism.
The present day Dhabaleswar temple is painted in white. It reflects serenity and peace all over the temple complex. One can feel the difference once in the temple complex.
Legend associated with the Dhabaleswar temple
Dhabala literally means white and Eeswar means God. There exists a wonderful legend behind this temple. It is said that once a thief stole a black calf and hid in a Shiva temple. The agitated crowd stood outside the temple to catch the thief. The thief prayed fervently to Lord Shiva in order to help him out of this mess. Lord Shiva melted and decided to help him. He came in the form of a Sanyasi and asked the crowd about the reason behind their anger. They said that they were looking for a thief who had stolen a black calf. They also added that the thief was hiding inside the temple itself. Lord Shiva by his powers changed the colour of the calf to white and presented it to the agitated crowd. Seeing this crowd of people got convinced that the one they were suspecting of being a criminal wasn’t one indeed. Seeing this the thief realized his mistake and confessed it in front of the crowd. He then decided to dedicate his entire life to the service of lord. So, from here comes the temple gets its name as this act of changing the colour of the calf caused Lord Shiva to be known as Dhabaleswar.
The present day temple was constructed by the ruler of Khurda, Bir Kishore. It is said that once while on a hunt with his personal bodyguards the king that found the old temple in a forbidden state. He then ordered the renovation of this very temple. The present day temple was renovated by Bhubaneswar Development Authority.
Dhabaleswar Temple Festivals
Various festivals are celebrated in this temple. The temple becomes a popular destination of pilgrimage during the festivals. A grand fair is held on the Shukla Paksha Chaturdashi of the month Kartika called Bada-osha. Many people come to enjoy the lively fair.
Since, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the festival of Maha Shivratri is celebrated here with great pomp and show. The Dhabaleswar Temple is decorated with flowers and lights. It glitters in the pale moonlight. Thousands of devotees flock in here during this festival. They fast and pray to please Lord Shiva.
In addition to all this Dola purnima, Pausha purnima and Kartik purnima are also celebrated here.
If you are a spiritual person then this temple is a must go destination for you.
A Tourist’s Guide to Dhabaleswar Temple
Dhabaleswar Temple is at a distance of 27km from the city of Cuttack. One can reach this temple through various means. One can either opt to take road transport or even take a boat to reach this temple as this temple is situated on an island. Busses are available via Chowdhar, Nuapatana and Mancheswar. The exotic island of Dhabaleswar is connected to Mancheswar by Odisha’s first foot hang bridge built here. It serves as the main or major way to reach the temple. In addition this, there also exists a foot bridge which can be used by devotees by paying a certain amount of fees. The way to the temple is lined with various shops set up by the villagers for tourists. The way to the temple of Dhabaleswar looks lively.
The nearest railway station is Cuttack Railway Station and the nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar airport. One can easily find hotels in Cuttack.
It is a very active temple dedicated to the Shaivism sect. its wonderful location makes it a popular tourist destination. One gets a chance to explore nature as well as dwell in the spiritual aura of this place. The ride to the temple on a boat or a ferry is also a marvelous experience. One can take wonderful pictures on the island of Dhabaleswar. The temple is embellished with stone carvings. The temple reverberates a divine aura all over the place. It is the best location for people who are in search of peace of mind.