Odisha’s Gupteswar Cave Temple Has A Ramayana Connection & A Growing Shiva Linga

Devotees climb 200 steps to reach the ancient Shiva temple overlooking the Ramagiri forest.

by Sanjana Shenoy
Odisha’s Gupteswar Cave Temple Has A Ramayana Connection & A Growing Shiva Linga

Around 55 km from Jeypore, a prominent town of Odisha lies Gupteswar Cave. The word Gupteswar means ‘hidden God’. This limestone cave dedicated to Lord Shiva has a gigantic Shiva Linga which is believed to have been discovered by Lord Rama during his 14-year exile in Dandakaranya. Guptesar Cave Temple is a hidden gem much like the name suggests yet it welcomes many devotees from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhatisgarh and Odisha, especially during the Shravan month. Read on to know why this cave temple in Koraput has a special place in the hearts of devotees.

Gupteswar Cave Temple In Odisha Has A Massive Shiva Linga That Grows In Size

Gupteswar Cave Temple odisha
Picture Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Though it was believed to have been first discovered by Lord Ram, the Gupteswar Temple went into obscurity over time. However, in the 17th century, a tribal hunter discovered a massive Shiva Linga in the Gupteswar Cave and informed Maharajah Veer Vikram Dev, who ruled the region at that time. Mesmerised by the majestic linga, the king appointed priests at the cave temple and transformed it into a cave temple. He started a tradition of visiting the temple on foot during the holy month of Shravana to pay respect to Lord Shiva.

To date, devotees climb 200 steps to reach the ancient Shiva temple. Paying respect to the deity here is believed to alleviate insufferable diseases. Over 200,000 devotees make a trip to the Gupteswar temple from many regions of India, especially during the Hindu festival of Shivratri. Many devotees, carry decorated bamboo palanquins or “Kanwadiya” and bathe in the maha kund before venerating Lord Shiva.

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Goddess Dalkhai’s Darshan Is A Must Before Visiting The Shiva Temple

Gupteswar Cave Temple odisha
Picture Credits: Canva (Pic used for representation)

The naturally formed Shiva Linga is said to be growing in size. Interestingly, this site also has ties with first-century poet Kalidasa who mentioned the Ramagiri forest where the cave temple is located in his famous Meghadutam. However, before you visit Gupteswar Temple you must first seek the blessings of Goddess Dalkhai. A temple dedicated to the local tribal goddess is located just 5 km away from Gupteswar Cave.

Also Read: 8 Interesting Facts About The City Of Temples, Chennai

This deity was worshipped by Maharajah Veer Vikram Dev for protecting the region. Make an offering of branches from a tree and seek her blessings to enter Ramagiri hills and visit Gupteswar Cave. Apart from the main temple housing the deity, there are several smaller limestone caves nearby with stalactite formations.

Surrounded by lush greenery, gorgeous views of the hills and divinity in the air, a visit to Gupteswar Cave Temple in Koraput, Odisha is a must.

Cover Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

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