--> Skip to main content

Story Of Shivling Worshipped At Bhubaneswar Lingaraj Temple

The world famous Bhubaneswar Lingaraj Temple in Odisha is famous for a unique Shivling which is believed to have miraculous properties. It is believed that Shivling had the power to turn any metal into gold.

The temple dedicated to Shiva as Lingaraja at Bhubaneswar was built in the middle of the 11th century A.D. This Shivling is even much older. The temple is  rightly denoted as the best representation of Kalingan type of architecture. It consists of a high curvilinear tower (Vimana), an assembly hall (Jagamohana), a dancing hall (Nata Mandapa) and hall of offerings (Bhoga Mandapa). Each structure increasing in the height to its predecessor. The temple has several smaller shrines gathering around.

The Shivling of Lingaraja is not like the common vertical column but a huge piece of
granite having a ridge at centre. Its diameter is 8 feet. The line at the top separates the black color of Vishnu and the white color of Siva. The dust color represents the presence of holy rivers Ganga and Yamuna.

A popular legend as regards to the formation and present shape of the Bhubaneswar Lingaraj temple Shivling is narrated by the temple priests.

Originally there used to be a sphatik Lingam (glass) with inherent power to turn all metal
objects into gold or costly jewels. This caused immense scramble for possession among the priests. When the matter was brought to the notice of the king, he arranged a stone covering over this linga. This not only preserved the efficacy of the linga for a pretty long time but also prevented the greedy Pujakas (priests) from putting everything metal over it to turn in to gold. What we find at present is nothing but the stone covering
over it.

It is believed that when Kalapahad invaded Odisha and destroyed Hindu temples in the entire coastal tract, the priest with a view to save the deity from the hands of this religious bigot covered the linga with a large quantity of straw so that Kalapahad would think that there is nothing except a huge quantity of paddy stored therein. The trick produced desired results.

Kalapahad entered the temple, saw the heavy stock of straw and turned his attention from the Garbhagriha to the minor deities and Parsva devatas placed around the main shrine.

The infuriated mind of the religious bigot thus caused immense damage to the priceless image of Ganesh, Kartikeya and Parvati. The minor shrines within the premises and the large number of alasakanyas on the outer faces of the main shrine were not spared. But the main deity could survive his destructive hands which worked with a feat
of vengeance.