About the Temple
Like many temples in Odisha, the exact date of construction of this revered temple is not known. From historical records and architectural inference , Pt Binayak Mishra believes that the temple was built somewhere in the 9th Century AD.Historians believe that on the basis of circumstantial inference, Nilamadhab Temple came up during the rule of Satrubhanja I of the Bhanja dynasty. However the deity predates the temple.The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Vishnu, worshipped as Nilamadhab. A continuous flow of holy water from the feet of Lord Nilamadhab and the temple of Lord Siddheswar within the temple premises are the highlights of the place.
Nilamadhab is intrinsically linked to Lord Jagannath. It is here that Sabara chief Biswabasu worshipped ” Lord Kitunga” (original tribal name of Lord Jagannath) in the form of a Indranila gem image known as “Nilamadhab”
The unique feature of idol of Lord Vishnu- wherein in two hands he holds the Shankha ( Conch) and Chakra ( Discus) and the other two hands resting on his consorts Lakshmi and Saraswati- is similar to the Vishnu idol found in Bihar (Now stored in the Kolkata Museum) speaks about its anteriority.
Maagha Saptami or Ratha Saptami- is the main festival of the temple. It basically heralds the beginning of the spring season which is also the commencement of the harvesting season.The festival is denoted by the Sun changing direction to the Northern Hemisphere in the North Easterly direction. Hindu’s celebrate the festival as the birthday of Sun God.
The other festival celebrated at the temple is the “Pausa Purnima” which falls in January ( Maagha). During the Pausa Purnima, Lord Nilamdhab is decked up in gold ornaments.