Langaleswar temple of Balasore where Lord Shiva ploughed land

By: Himanshu Guru

The Lord Langaleshwara temple in Balasore district is one of the ancient shrines in Odisha. Here Lord Mahadev gets worshipped along with His consort Goddess Parvati. It is one of the 22 tourist places in the district.

Many devotees not only from Odisha but also from other States including West Bengal and Jharkhand visit here to pay obeisance to the deities and to spend some time amid the naturally gifted atmosphere.

Location

Situated in the village of Langaleswar, the temple is at a distance of 10 km from Baliapal Block head quarter and 50 km away from the district headquarter.

What to see

Besides mythological value, the shrine is situated amid reach natural scenery and it is beautiful. The Goddess Parvati temple is situated in front of the Lord Shiva temple. The Shivalinga is located deep in the soil. Out of the two bulls Pabana and Basua, who had helped Lord Shiva in ploughing the land, the Basua bull is found sitting in front of the temple.

Mythological importance

It is believed that devotees’ wishes get materialized here with the blessings of the God. It is also believed that if a patient, who is unwell due to a chronic disease, consumes Paduka and practices Adhia in the shrine, he gets cured. And hence devotees visit here across the year.

Origin

The shrine has got much importance in lieu of a few legends associated to its origin. Though there is no solid evidence regarding origin of this temple as per the locals about 700 years ago the Lord started getting worshipped here.

Legends

As per a legend, long ago Lord Shiva incarnated here along with Mata Parvati. The Lord himself ploughed 1600 acres of land with the help of a plough. And accordingly the area is called Solasa Pentha. He then placed the plough on the ground and took rest here where the shrine is standing now. Accordingly, this place has been named as Langaleswar.

As per the same legend, Goddess Parvati had crossed the nearby River in a boat in the disguise of a fisher woman and the River has been named River Parvati after her.

In books

Lord Langaleshwar of Balasore has been depicted by noted poet Kabibara Radhanath Ray in his novels Usha and Nandikeshwari.

Festivals

The Shivaratri, Chadakamela, Durga puja, Basanti puja are the festivals that are celebrated here with pomp and show amid participation of large number of devotees. Lakhs of devotees light lamps here in the night of Shivarathri. Starting from Shivaathri the Jagara Mela fair continues for 15 days where small vendors from the State and nearby States sell different items in kiosks.

Shortcomings

Despite being a popular destination, the place lacks basic facilities for drinking water, toilets and night halt. Besides, in absence of any boundary wall of the temple the area lacks cleanliness. Stray bulls, cows and dogs roam around the area which adds to the already existing menace. And hence, the locals have demanded development of the shrine as well as the adjoining area.

With inputs from Radhagovinda Das, Jaleshwar

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