The Gupteswar cave is located in the Koraput district of Odisha. It houses a gigantic Shiva linga. It is a very famous tourist and pilgrimage site. The lingum in this cave is a natural lingum and is said to be ever growing. Gupteswar literally means the ‘Hidden God’. It is named so because was lying hidden in the very cave before its discovery.
It is popular among the people following belonging to the Shaivism sect. These people are ardent devotees of Lord Shiva. The Gupteswar Cave is flooded with devotees during the Sravana period. Thousands of pilgrims flock in here to celebrate the auspicious Bol Bam Yatra which is held here. The devotees worship the Lord by offering milk and water to the lingum.
Devotees head to the Gupteswar cave to bath in the maha kund and worship Lord Shiva by chanting hymns.
More about the Gupteswar Cave
The Gupteswar cave is a limestone cave. It is surrounded by sal trees. It is situated by the River Kolab. The lingum housed in here is 2m high which is not typical of the normal size of the lingum. There are several caves near this cave. The second cave houses a large stalactite. It’s a wonderful sight. This natural creation makes one praise the beauty of nature and the endless things it’s capable of.
One can reach the entrance of the cave by climbing 200 steps flanked with rows of champak trees. The cave is beautiful. The whole place is picture-perfect and a must go destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers.
The Scientific concept behind offering water and milk to Shiv Linga during the Sravana period.
The Sravana or more commonly known as the Savan period is considered as a very auspicious month of the year. The devotees of Lord Shiva take long journeys or yatras to Shiva temples. Mostly the temples of importance are the ones which house lingas which have naturally erupted from the earth. According to science these natural lingas emit radiations that are harmful for human beings. So, in order to curb the effect of this, these lingas are bathed in water and milk. So, every year lakhs of devotees take up the Bol Bam Yatra on foot or by vehicles to reach the temple of their beloved Lord.
Hindus also abstain from having non-veg during this season. The scientific reason behind this is that during this season the human body is more prone to diseases and infections.
As quoted by the celebrated author, Amish Tripathi, ‘science provides a solution to everything and if there is anything that appears like a miracle, the only explanation to it is that a scientific reason for it has not been discovered yet’.
Legends Related to the Gupteswar Cave
The Gupteswar Cave has a very interesting legend associated with it. It is popularly known as ‘Gupta Kedar’ by the localities. The temple is associated with Lord Rama, one of the incarnations of Vishnu. During his exile he was roaming the then forest of Dandakaranya with his wife Sita and brother Laxman. He then had found this lingum. The cave is housed in between the forest of sal trees. Its beauty is also described in Kalidas’s poetries too.
But eventually this cave lost its importance and was forgotten. Then at the end of the 19th century a hunter discovered the lingum and since then the cave is known for its divinity. Earlier it was worshipped by the tribes of Koraput but now it has become a place of national tourism. The Gupteswar Cave experiences a huge influx of tourists and pilgrims throughout the year and especially during festivals. The most festival of them being the festival of Shivratri. Around 200,000 devotees visit this place during this festival. Many come here in the hope of getting cured and stay here for days.
A Tourist’s Guide to Gupteswar Cave
The Gupteswar cave is 60km from the Jeypore town of Koraput district of Odisha. It is well connected to the nearby places.
The Gupteswar Caves are a wholesome package of natural beauty. Its beautiful location adds to the beauty and divinity of the place. It has every element that a nature lover aspires for. River, forest and the beautiful caves make a complete package. This place provides beautiful landscapes. It’s a photographer’s paradise. One can even have a taste of the cultural beauty the place by visiting a few tribes nearby plus taste the local delicacies of the place. The atmosphere here is enchanting. So, make sure you visit this wonderful place once in your lifetime. A visit to this place has the power of rejuvenating the dullest of brains and make them sway in the divinity and beauty of this place.