Odisha is the land of profound cultural, historical and traditional heritage. The state of Odisha is blessed with wonderful topographic advantages. Being a coastal state it has a considerable number of beaches. Various prominent river have their course in here too. As a result of this this place supports wildlife. There exists a number of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries here. In addition to all this the state of Odisha houses a huge number of temples of historical importance. One such temple is the Panchalingeswar Temple.
As the name suggests the temple is famous for its five Shiva lingas. The temple is situated on top of a hillock. So, reaching the temple is a completely adventurous task. The hillock is near the Nilagiri hills. The Panchalingeswar Temple is 28km from the Balasore district of Odisha.
Legends Associated with the Panchalingeswar Temple
According to a legend the five Shivalingas in here are said to be enshrined by Sita, the consort of Lord Rama. She had carried out this holy task during their thirteen year exile.
Another legends suggests that King Banasura who was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva had installed these lingas and he used to worship the Lingas at this place. The peace and calm of this place made him choose this location as the site of the temple.
Historical Background of the Panchalingeswar Temple
Aranapurnna Devi the queen of Krishna Chandra Mardaraj Harichandan had a dream in while Lord Shiva showed his willingness for her to worship his five Phallus symbols. These were as told by him engraved in a pit of flowing stream of water. The king ordered hid soldiers to search for the five lingas in the Ahuti forest. They found the desired five lingas and chanted the ‘Jay Baba Panchalingeswara’ and from that day on the name of this place is Panchalingeswara.
The lingas are washed by the stream nearby as it flows over them. In order to reach the Panchalingeswara temple one has to lie on the ground parallel to the stream so as to worship the lingas inside the stream.
A Tourist’s Guide to Panchalingeswara Temple
The temple is well connected to the nearby city of Balasore by road. The nearest railway station is in Balasore railway station itself and the nearest airport is in Bhubaneswar airport which is 200km away from this place. One can even opt for taking a flight from the Kolkata Airport which is at a distance of 250km from here. One can stay near the Panchalingeswara temple or in Balasore too.
The Revenue Rest Shed at Panchalingeswar provides accommodation here. The Odisha Tourism department also provides accommodation in here. The Panth Niwas is run by this organization and one can book rooms here if needed. Good and decent rooms are also available in Balasore.
A wide range of restaurants are also available here. They serve very all the popular delicacies here.
The Panchalingeswar temple is significant as a pilgrimage site as well as the perfect place for nature lovers. One doesn’t find five Shivlingas housed in a single temple. This gives the temple an extra edge when it comes to being an important pilgrimage site. The temple as mentioned earlier is situated on a hillock. So, it is a must go for people who love trekking. One can even trek in the nearby Nilgiri hills. While trekking on top of the temple one gets to experience nature at its full length and form. Small villages, dense forests and the nearby river makes the climb an unforgettable experience. Small villages can also be spotted while on the climb.
A visit to Chandipur Beach is a must while on a trip to the Panchalingeswar Temple. The beach is 45km away from the temple. One can hire a private vehicle and reach the required destination. The beach is a treat to the eyes. It is mostly a sandy beach but some parts of it are rocky too. After a visit from the temple the beach provides a refreshing experience. One can play and enjoy on the beach and get rid of all troubles. The Chandipur beach is on the coastline of the Bay of Bengal. One can spot varieties of cactus and other vegetation in here. Food is also available here. One can treat themselves to wonderful delicacies after a refreshing bath in the sea.