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Hanuman Temple at Siruli near Puri in Odisha – Siruli Mahavir Temple

Siruli Mahavir temple is an ancient shrine dedicated to Lord Hanuman and it is located at Siruli Village which is around 10 km off left of Siruli Crossing after Chandanpur on the Puri Bhuvaneswar National Highway. Hanuman Temple at Siruli is around 22 km from Pune and around 72 km from Bhubaneswar. The unique aspect of the temple is that the Mahvir Hanuman is always looking with his left eye on the Neel Chakra atop the Puri Jagannath Temple.

Story of Siruli Mahavir Temple

Legend has it that after defeating Ravana, Lord Ram had returned to Ayodhya. When all the ceremonies were over and Lord Ram was anointed as the king of Ayodhya, Hanuman set out on a pilgrimage and had visited Jagannath Temple at Puri. While returning back from Puri, he saw beautiful pond full of lotus flowers and He decided to offer His evening prayers here. Siruli Hanuman Temple is located at the spot where Hanuman offered His prayers.

Architecture of the Temple

The original murti of Mahavir Hanuman worshipped in the temple was Swayambhu – that which appeared on its own. Currently a huge murti made of single stone is worshipped. The murti has been worshipped from ancient times. The current temple which stands in five acres of land was established by Cholaganga Dev during the 6th century AD. Some scholars believe it was established in 12th century AD

The architecture of the temple consists of a Vimana, Jagamohana Bhogamandapa and Natamandapa. Temple walls contain numerous erotic sculptures and scenes from the Ramayana.

Idol or Murti of Lord Mahavir at Siruli

The murti or Idol of Hanuman presently worshiped here is 10 feet tall and faces west. The width of the chest of the murti is enormous. The chest exhibits the famous posture Lord Rama and Sita in Hanuman’s heart.

In the right hand he holds Gandhamardana parvata (a huge rock). Left hand holds katuri or short dagger in left hand. He wears a garland of jewels (Vaijantimala) in his body. The murti of Hanuman has been designed as trampling over Murasura.

Sculpture of Anjana, the mother of Hanuman, is carved to the right of the pedestal.

The murti is decorated with heavy earrings and has a jewel studded chain on the neck. The locket fitted on the necklace contain figures of Rama and Sita

A Shivling with a seven hooded snake forming canopy can be seen atop the Hanuman murti.

Lord Mahavir at Siruli is looking at Neel Chakra atop Jagannath Temple

A unique aspect of the murti at of Mahavir at Siruli is that the eyes are not properly aligned. Left eye of the murti is looking through a hole in the wall and the right eye is looking southward towards lanka. It is said that left eye hanuman is fixed at the Neel Chakra atop Jagannath Temple. Even today during clear early morning hours one can see the neel chakra atop Puri Jagannath Temple through the hole.

Festivals and offerings

Tuesdays are the most important day in the shrine. Sankranti of every month is highly auspicious. The Sankranti in April month is observed as Hanuman Jayanti and attracts a huge crowd. Special pujas are offered on the day.

The main offering in the temple is beaten rice (Aval or poha). Other offerings include Chudagahsa which is prepared using one kilogram of beaten rice, ten dry coconuts, half kilogram cow ghee and half kilogram sugar.

Whenever there is an auspicious occasion or wedding in the family people offer prayers at Siruli Mahavir Temple.