Pankoddhar Ekadashi in Orissa



Pankoddhar Ekadashi is observed in the Shri Lokanatha Temple in Puri in Orissa before Shivratri. Pankoddhar Ekadashi 2014 date is February 26. The Shivling in the Shri Lokanatha Temple becomes visible only from the Pankoddhar Ekadasi day – this happens three days before the Mahashivratri in Phalgun month.

The sanctum sanctorum of Sri Lokanatha Temple including the Shivalinga is filled with water throughout the year. The water is removed only during the Pankoddhar Ekadashi period. Thousands of people come to the temple to worship during the period.

The offerings that were made throughout the year remains decomposed in water. People believe that it has curative properties. Therefore it is distributed it as Prasad.

Legend has it that Lord Ram during his exile period had meditated here and is believe to have had the darshan of Lord Shiva. The villagers presented Lord Ram with Lau or Lauka (Pumpkin) similar to a Shivling. Lord Rama installed the Lauka at the place where the present day temple stands and prayed to Lord Shiva to help in finding Mata Sita.

From that day the Shivalingam was called 'Laukanatha'. It is believed that the word Lokanatha.
This Ekadasi is popularly known as Vijaya Ekadasi – the story of this Ekadasi is also associated with Lord Ram.