Loknath Temple Puri Entry Fee
- No Entry Fee
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Loknath Temple Puri Address: Near Jagannath Temple, Loknath Temple Rd, Puri, Odisha, 752001, India
Loknath Temple (locally called Shri Lokanatha Mandira) lies only about 2 km from the sacred Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri. It is one of the holiest shrines in Odisha that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Odisha since time immemorial has been a place, where Shaivism has always flourished.
An interesting aspect of this shrine is that its innermost sanctum houses a Shivalinga, which is visible only once in a year. The reason being is that the entire sanctum including the Shivalinga gets filled with water by a natural fountain, all through the year. It is only on the night of Pankoddhar Ekadashi - three days prior to the Shivaratri festival - all the water from the sanctum is bailed out, and the Shivalinga becomes visible. Thousands of devotees throng to the temple during the festival to worship the Shivalinga.
Even though the Shivalinga is visible only once during the year, devotees offer flowers, beetle and bilva leaves, honey, sandal paste, flowers, milk, coconut water and curd to it throughout the year. The mixture of these and the water from the natural fountain decompose, and as per local belief, this decomposed mixture has a special essence and has great medicinal value and anyone who drinks this water is cured of incurable diseases.
History of Loknath Temple Puri
According to legends, when Lord Ram was on his way to Lanka to rescue Devi Sita, he stopped at Puri and took a vow to see Lord Shiva. Meanwhile Sabaras, a man from the nearby village of Sabarapalli, gave Lord Rama a pumpkin (locally called Lau or Lauka) that had resemblance with Shivalinga.
Lord Rama installed this vegetable as a replica of Shivalinga and prayed to God to fulfill his desire to rescue Devi Sita. Since then, the Shivalinga has been known as ‘Laukanatha’. Over centuries, the name ‘Laukanatha’ has changed to ‘Lokanatha’.
Shivaratri is the main festival observed at this shrine. During the festival, thousands of devotees flock to the temple to pray to the Lord. Another festival celebrated at the shrine is Saranti Somavar Mela, during which the utsava murti of Lokanath is taken to Jagannath Temple as Lokanatha is believed to be the guardian deity of the treasures of Lord Jagannath.
Architecture of Loknath Temple Puri
Built with sandstone, the Lokanath Temple has four sections: the Vimana (Main Temple), Jagamohana (Entrance Hall), Bhoga Mandapa (Offering Hall) and Nata Mandapa (Dancing Hall). The main temple has been built around 30 feet from the ground. Since a major portion of the main shrine is covered with marbles, a comprehensive architectural feature of it is not visible.
Image Gallery of Loknath Temple Puri
Things to do in Loknath Temple Puri
Though the temple can be visited any time of the year; however, the best time to come here is during Shivaratri to witness the grand festivities.
Besides this sacred temple, tourists to Puri must definitely visit other holy places in the city including the Jagannath Temple, Gundicha Temple and Markandeshwar Temple.
Loknath Temple Puri Timings and Entry fee
No fee is charged to visit the Loknath Temple in Puri. The shrine remains open on all days of the week, from 5 am to 9 pm.
How to reach Loknath Temple Puri
Regular trains from major cities of the country run to the Puri Railway Station on a regular basis while Intra-state and Inter-state buses ply to the Puri Bus Stand daily. While the railway station is about 4.6 km away from the Loknath Temple, the bus stand is approximately at a distance of 4.7 km. Private taxis, auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws and battery-operated rickshaws can be availed from the railway station or bus stand to reach the temple easily.
The nearest airport to the temple is the Biju Patnaik International Airport, which is located at a distance of about 60 km. Tourists flying to Bhubaneswar can either hire a taxi from the top car rental companies in Bhubaneswar or board a bus on reaching the city till Puri. It takes an hour or so to travel from Bhubaneswar to Puri.
Things to keep in mind while visiting Loknath Temple Puri
- This temple is only open to Hindus.
- Littering at the temple property or trying to damage any part of it is punishable.
- Food items as well as leather items including wallet and footwear are not allowed inside the temple.
- Photography is prohibited inside the premises.
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