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Lokanatha Temple is among the most sacred temples in the divine city of Puri and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Lokanatha is another name of Lord Shiva and thousands of devotees come to worship and pray to the supreme God throughout the year when they visit the Jagannath Temple. The Lokanatha Temple is considered one of the oldest temples in the state but is believed to be comparatively newer than the famous Jagannath Temple dedicated to an avatar of Lord Vishnu. The Shiva temple’s representative image is present in Vishnu temple as a guardian. Several festivals and fairs take place at the temple, turning it into a grand spectacle you should not miss!

About Lokanatha Temple

Lokanatha Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the presiding deity is Shiva Linga

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The Lokanatha Temple is religiously significant to Hindu people all over the country and the world. It is considered one of the prime shrines of Lord Shiva in Odisha. According to the locals, Lord Ramachandra is responsible for building this temple in the holy city of Puri. Ever since its establishment, the temple has attracted Shiva bhakts from everywhere who believe every wish of theirs can be fulfilled by the mighty Lord Shiva. The presiding deity of the temple is the Shiva linga and the devotees cannot see it every day. Instead, they can only see it once every year.

Every day for a year, water is filled by a natural fountain in the sanctum, which includes the Shiva linga. Other offerings, such as curd, coconut water, flowers, milk, sandalwood paste, and honey, are made to cover the linga entirely.

Must Read: Temples In Puri

Significance Of Lokanatha Temple

An important temple for the locals and Lord Shiva devotees

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The Lokanatha Temple is important for many reasons. The offerings made to the Shiva linga by the devotees decompose every day as they are not thrown away but cleaned on one day (every year) on Pankodhar Ekadashi. Devotees of Lord Shiva believe that these decomposed items are prasad and they take it home as they believe they have healing properties. According to locals, anyone who is suffering from an incurable disease can get healed completely if they come to pray at this temple and take home the decomposing items.

This famous Shiva temple in Puri is also essential for another reason. An image of Lord Lokanatha called Bhandara Lokanatha can be found inside the Jagannath Temple of Puri. Lord Lokanatha is responsible for guarding the Ratnabhandara of the temple, where all the treasures are kept safely.

Mythology And Architecture

Temple bells at Lokanatha Temple

Image Credit: Ajay Lamichhane for Wikimedia Commons

There is a legend associated with the Lokanatha Temple and it is exciting. According to mythology, Lord Rama once went to Sri Lanka for his wife Sita. When he reached Puri, he decided he would not move forward unless he saw Lord Shiva. At the time, a village called Sabarapalli was near where he was waiting. The people of Sabarapalli, called Sabaras, gave him a pumpkin resembling Shiva Linga. Lord Rama accepted, installed, and prayed to it with all his heart. This is how the temple got its name ‘Laukanatha’, and the spelling was later changed to ‘Lokanatha’.

The architecture of the temple is exquisite. It can be divided into four sections: main temple, entrance hall, offering hall, and dancing hall. As marble covers most of the main temple called Vimana, it is not possible to see the original artistry. You can see images of various deities, such as Lord Kartikeya on the eastern wall, Shiva and Parvati on the northern wall, and Lord Ganesha on the southern wall. The Lokanatha Temple has many smaller temples within its compound and also has a pong called the Parvati Sagara. Devotees can wash their hands and feet here before going to worship Lord Shiva.

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How To Reach

 You can reach by flight, rail, and road

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By flight: The nearest airport to Shree Lokanatha Temple is Bhubaneswar’s Biju Patnaik International Airport. You can hire a taxi from the airport and directly reach this temple as the distance is 43.9 km.

By rail: The closest railway station is Puri. The Shiva Temple is just 15.6 km away from the railway station so you can easily hire an auto or a taxi as per your preference and requirements.

By road: The easiest and fastest way to reach the temple is by road. Several buses will drop you at the Puri bus stand and you can hire an auto from there to reach the temple which is 14.4 km away.

Tips For Visiting Lokanatha Temple

You can offer prayers at Lokanatha Temple and Jagannath Temple on the same day

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    • You are not allowed to take your phones inside the temple premises but there is a locker facility available to keep your electronics safe.
    • You must remove your shoes before entering the temple and keep them safely at a facility available near the complex.
    • You should dress modestly and in traditional clothes. You can cover your head if you wish but it is not mandatory.
    • If you are bringing your vehicle to visit Puri, you need to pay a parking fee depending on the type of vehicle.
    • You can find shops inside and outside the temple premises that sell various puja-related items and do not forget to purchase prasad for your loved ones back home.
    • You can visit the Shri Lokanatha Temple and Jagannath Temple in Puri on the same day as they are 20 km apart.

Further Read: Tourist Places In Balasore

The divine Puri is a must-visit travel destination as you can visit numerous revered temples at once including the Lokanatha Temple. If you are in desperate need of divine intervention, you should add Puri to your itinerary of trip to Odisha. You can also relax at the serene and stunning beaches in Puri, a perfect holiday destination suitable for a long vacation or a short sojourn.

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Cover Image Credit: Navneet Sharma for Wikimedia Commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Lokanatha Temple

Can special puja be performed at the temple?

Priests are always available in the temple and you can get any special puja performed but note they will charge extra for conducting the puja. The charge depends on the puja.

How far is Lokanatha Temple from Jagannath Temple?

The distance between the two temples is 20.1 km and you can hire an auto or take your vehicle to reach the temple.

What is the entry fee of the temple?

The entry is free for all devotees but extra charges are levied if you want special pujas to be performed.

What are the temple timings?

The temple is open every day from 5:30 am to 8:30 pm. It is best to come in the morning time as there will be minimal rush and crowd.

Is photography allowed inside the temple?

Photography is prohibited inside the temple premises and you should not take your phone with you. Instead, you can keep it safe in the locker facility provided at the temple premises.

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Category: Places To Visit, Puri, Temples

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