My Travel Experience Of Kualo Astasambhu Temple

 Hello friends, let me share my travel experience of Kualo Astasambhu Temple which is situated in
Dhenkanal district of Odisha which is just about a ride of six kilometres from Indira Gandhi Institute of
Technology, Sarang.

Kualo Astasambhu Temple which is primarily dedicated to Lord Shiva is believed to be built around
Seventh (7th) Century AD. Some also believe the Temple was built during 7th-8th Century AD. The
Astasambhu Temple is a collection of Eight Shiva Temples. They are Kanakeswara, Paschimeswar, Baidyanath, Kapileswar, Swapneswara, Baneswar and Lokanatheswar and Balunkeswar. Upon entering the temple premises, the very first temple; that would catch your eyes is of Lord Kanakeswara Mahadev which is situated exactly on the centre . A Brushava (Nandi) is placed in the front of the Kanakeswara Mahadev . On its right, there is Baidyanath Temple and on its left, you will find Lord Paschimeswar which is almost broken. On the other corners of the premise, Lord Balunkeswar and Lord Kapileswar Temples are housed. On the outer periphery of the premise, there is Swapneswara temple which houses two Shiva Lingas.

The Astasambhu Temple is believed to be older than the historic Konark Temple (The only UNESCO World Heritage Site of Odisha). But there not any kind documented proofs about the history of Astasambhu Temple. The architectural designs of these temples are quite similar to that of Konark Sun Temple. Before the temple came under the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) in the year 1968, the premise of Astasambhu Temple had been lying abandoned. So we could confidently say the ASI has given a new lease of life to the Astasambhu Temple, Kualo. You will also get to witness the huge wreckage of precious stones surrounding the existing temples.

The temples were built during the reign of STAMBHA Dynasty by the 3rd King, Ranastambha. It is believed, the sole purpose of building Astasambhu Temple was to get rid off the sins committed by the people in the means of “Cow Slaughtering “. So they had to visit the all eight existing Shiva Lingas to  mitigate the sins and to earn virtues. Since the existing kings of Stambha Dynasty were ruling under the SULKI Dynasty of then Jajpur, upon the withdrawal of SULKI Dynasty, the 3rd king Ranastambha had only able to build six temples and originally there are EIGHT Shiva Lingas inside the temple premises. Since then, most of these temples have been left uncompleted.

The significance of the existing Lingas have different in colours. But the shape of the sacred linga of Kanakeswara Mahadev is increasing with passing of times as per the claims of devotees who throng to the temple at a daily basis. Most importantl, one of the real charisma of the Shiva Linga of Kanakeswara Mahadev is that; during the start of Krushnapakhya, the colour of the linga remains black while it turns into white in during Suklapakhya.

Hence, with the presence of eight sacred Shiva Lingas inside the temple premises, the temple is so named as Astasambhu Temple. We hope, you will be pleased and also acquire a fair amount of knowledge regarding our Odisha’s best kept secret and ts rich cultural heritage

REFERENCES:Various Sources

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