Thursday, October 17, 2019

Budhakhol or Buddhakhol, Buguda, Ganjam, Odisha, India A 8th Century Shiva Temple and Buddhist Caves


Budhakhol is a heritage site of Odisha located in Buguda block of Ganjam District in Odisha, India. 

At a distance of about 3 kms towards the north of Buguda is Buddhakhol, which is a scenic spot frequently visited by tourists and picnickers. 

Amidst natural surroundings there is a cluster of five temples on the top of a hill, dedicated to Lord Siva, Makareswar Swami, Gangadhareswar Swami, Jagadieswar Swami, Siddheswar Swami and Budheswar Swami, hence it’s also popularly known as Pancha Mahadeva Temple. 

The five Mahadeva temples are believed to have come up during Adi Shankaracharya’s time around 8th Century AD. 

At the upper most part of the hill a perennial stream forms a waterfall. 

The spring water flows into a water tank in which a fifty feet tall idol of Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati has come up along with an idol of Lord Hanuman at the entrance of the water tank in the last five- six years. 

The water tank is called Ganga Sagar. The spot makes for a good resting point. 

A number of Buddhist remains have been found at the place which give the impression that it was a Buddhist settlement in ancient days. 

Not far from the place there are numerous caves one of which is called Siddha Gumpha where Buddhist monks were said to have performed meditation in old days. Located on a hilltop around 3 km ride along motorable roads is an experience in itself. 

Alternatively one can take the steps to the temple. There are about 490 steps. The place is a delight for nature lovers. The landscape is surrounded by mountains and forests. A lot of people came to visit this place in winter. This is also a famous picnic place.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Jagannath Temple, Marda, Ganjam District, Odisha A 17th Century Temple

Marda Jagannath Temple:

The Jagannath temple at Marda village in Ganjam district was the safe abode of the three deities of the Jagannath temple in Puri in the year 1733 when the three idols had remained in the shrine for 28 months – from December 29, 1733 to April 1736. It is also called as Sarana Srikhetra and, there are no deities inside the temple now. But still, all rituals are performed every day in front of an empty pedestal by five generations of priests since then. While rath yatra is being celebrated in Lord Jagannath temples across Odisha and also outside, the grandeur of the festival is missing at this temple since the beginning as a tradition.

This temple became the safe abode of the deities when the Puri Jagannath temple had come under attack from the Muslim invaders. Consequently, the then Puri king, Gajapati Ramchandra Deb, had these deities secretly transported from Puri to Marda. 46 Masons from Nearby Mathura Village constructed the temple in a record time of two months at a secluded place. The temple is an epitome of architectural grandeur of medieval Odisha. About 300 armed soldiers of Athagada used to guard the deities day and night during that period. The deities returned to Puri in 1736.

The temple is a two-chambered Pidha style with Jagmohan and Viman. Marda is considered as the second home of Jagannath. Even after the deities returned to Puri in 1736, the ruler of Athagada, Jagannath Harichandan Jagadev had preferred to keep the temple without deity to preserve the memory of the great event. The secret journey of the deities from the Puri temple to the Chadehibuda hills on the Chilika banks, Chapalihatibana, Kujangagada, Kapileswarpur, Gopalpur, Tikali, Gajapada, Balangir, Subarnapur, Boudh, Manitrigada and finally to Marda temple.