About the Temple
Built in the 11th Century AD, the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is revered temple from a cultural point of view of Odisha.
The unique feature of the temple is that the Lingam is submerged under a natural under ground fountain.
Every year three days before Shivaratri Festival, on the occasion of Pankoddhar Ekadasi, water is cleared and thousands of devotees flock to get a glimpse of the revered Lingam.
As with many temples in India, Lokanath Temple has its share of Legends, some of them are:-
An idol of Lokanath is kept inside the Lord Jagannath temple at Puri and its believed that Lokanath is the guardian deity of all the jewelleries of Lord Jagannath and his siblings.
It is believed that the Lingam was installed by Lord Rama while on his way to Sri Lanka in search of Sita. On reaching Sabarapalli- Modern day Puri- ( a village inhabited by the Sabara Tribe then), Lord Rama was presented with a Lingam shaped Bottle Gourd (called Lauki in Hindi) by the Sabara’s, so that he can pray to Lord Shiva. The name Lokanath is derived from Laukanath ( literally meaning a Lingam shaped Bottle Gourd)
The other popular legend of the Temple is that the fountain water under which the Lingam is submerged and mixed with Flowers, Sandal paste, Yogurt, Coconut, Honey, Milk, Basil ( Tulasi ) and Bael ( Bel) Leaves etc which are offered to the Lingam by the devotees, possess medicinal properties.
Shivratri- is observed in the temple with a lot of devotion by the people. A meeting of Hara ( Lord Shiva) and Hari ( Lord Vishnu) takes place on that day.