Sunday, August 7, 2016

Gupteswar Cave Temple - Gupteshwar-Koraput-Odisha

Gupteswar Cave Temple:

Gupteswar Cave Temple

Gupteswar Cave Temple is a Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is a famous pilgrim place situated about 55 km away from Jeypore, Koraput District in the state of Odisha, India by road. It is a limestone cave discovered some time ago and has a number of scenic spots around. The main attraction of the temple is the gigantic Shiva Linga which is said to be increasing in size, right now it is 2m in width.

Gupteswar Shiva Linga

Pilgrims from all over the country come here during the Sravana period (August - September), because the yearly BolBom yarta is held at this place. Devotees walk to the Gupteshwar during BolBom yatra to bath in the maha kund, and then chant near the Shiva Linga. Gupteswar cave is special for the underground water. It is really worth seeing. It is a natural cave with Stalagmites. One has to reach the end to view the superb scene.

Entrance Gate of Gupteswar Temple

Surrounded by a dense forest of sal trees and flanked by the Saberi river, a 2m high lingam stands in the cave. The shrine is called "Gupteswar" which means the "Hidden God". It is so named because it was lying hidden in the cave for a very long period. One can reach it by climbing the 200 steps flanked with rows of champak trees.

Steps of Temple

The entrance of the cave is about 3 m wide and 2 m in height. There are also several other caves nearby, which is now closed due to safety issues. Inside the second cave there is a large stalactite. People worship it as the udder of God Kamadhenu (the divine cow) and wait under it with outstretched palms to collect drops of water which fall only at long intervals.

Steps towards Main Gate of Temple

Popularly known as "Gupta Kedar" in the vicinity, this sacred place, endowed with unusual natural beauty, is associated with Shri Rama of the epic Ramayana. The nearby hill has been named "Ramagiri".

Exit of Cave Temple

According to mythology, the lingam was first discovered by Lord Rama when he was roaming in the then Dandakaranya forest with wife Sita and brother Laxman, and later worshipped it calling it "Gupteswar". The poet Kalidas too, described the scenic beauty of Ramgiri forest where the cave temple is referred to in his famous Meghadutam.

Main Gate of Temple

However, with the passing of time, the temple was abandoned. Later, in the last part of the 19th century, a hunter of the Ramgiri area found the lingam. Since then the lingam has been worshipped by the tribes of Koraput region.

Inside Steps of Cave Temple

In Shivaratri Gupteswar Temple draws over 200,000 devotees from Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. People suffering from incurable diseases come here to worship the God and remain here for months in the hope of getting cured.

Maa Dalkhai

At the entrance of Gupteswar/Ramagiri hills, about 4 km from the main cave, there situated Goddess Dalkhai (local tribe goddess). One has to offer branches of trees to the goddess before entering into Ramagiri hills. There is a saying that it was established by the King as protecting goddess. It is also saying from people of the locality and others who has already experienced the place that no body can enter into the Ramagiri hills without offering branches there.

Saberi River

Another attraction of the place is the River Saberi. The flowing river sound is always pleasant to listen. The water is so cold that it attracts many visitors to have a dip bath here. The muddish color always create a doubt regarding the water at first instance.

Entrance Gate of Saberi River Bank

But the flow of the river through mud hills and red stones makes the color muddish. The flow of the river through stones and forests is an unforgettable scene to watch from the watch-tower created at the top of the cave. Some temples are also built on the sands of the river.

Saberi River Bed

This is a also a famous picnic spots for localites.

Nandi Inside Cave Temple

How to Reach: From Jeypore or Koraput, you can reach to Gupteswar by bus. Or you can hire any taxi from Jeypore or from Koraput to reach Gupteswar. Arround 20kms road is in bad shape.