BARALA BALUNKESWAR TEMPLE

Destination Summary
Famous for Barala Balunkeswar Shiva Temple
Nearest Attractions Sakhigopal, Raghurajpur, Siruli
Located at Village: Barala, Post : Barala, Tehsil: Sakhigopal, District: Puri, PIN: 752046
State/Country Odisha/India
Famous Events Sivaratri, Sitalasasthi, Sankranti, Ekadasi etc.
Distance From Puri 22 KMs
Mode of Transport Road (Bus and Taxi)
Nearest Airport Bhubaneswar
Best Time to Visit Round the Year
Local Language Odia

One of the sacred tourist destination of Puri , Barala is a village of religious importance where a famous Shiva temple is located. Barala is 11 kilometers from Sakhigopal, which is 22 km from Puri, on the Puri-Bhubaneswar National Highway 203 branching at Pattanayikia chowk, ahead of Chandanpur. This Shiva temple is knwon as Barala Balunkeswar Temple or Barala Balunkeswar Shiva Temple. This temple is one of the most important Shaiva shrines of Puri. The exact geographical location of the temple is LONGITUDE 850 50’ 52” E LATITUDE 190 58’ 29” N.

Balunkeswar Shiva Temple is facing towards the east. The innermost chamber of the main temple preserves a Shiva Linga which is the presiding deity of the temple. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Lord Balunkeswar. Flowers, sandal paste, milk, Curd (yoghurt), honey, beetle leaves, coconut water, bilva leaves, etc. offered to Lord Balunkesvara throughout the year. This temple also houses 25 small shrines enshrining of images of Durga, Khshetrapala, Vairabhi Annapurna, Ardhanariswara, Damodara, Gopal, Narasimha, Ambika, and Parshwanath (Jain) images. Famous Festivals like Mahashivaratri, Sitalasasthi, Sankranti, Ekadasi etc are observed here with great devotion. On the day of Mahashivaratri thousands of devotees from far and near arrive at the temple to offer their prayer to Lord Balunkeswar to get His blessings. Marriage ceremony, thread ceremony and engagements are also observed in this temple.

The architecture of the Balunkesvara Temple is novel with Vimana (Main Temple), Jagamohana (Entrance Hall) and Natamandapa (Dancing Hall). The temple is surrounded by a high wall with Sinha dwara (Lion's Gate) on the east. There is another entrance on the southern side of the temple. Images of Goddesses Ganga and Yamuna are carved on the main door of the dancing hall. Lord Ganesha image is found on southern entrance of the jagamohana. Lord Narasimha and Lord Hanuman images are also available in the temple. The temple is under the care of Endowment Department of Government of Odisha.

Barala Balunkeswar Temple Photo Gallary

Photo Courtesy: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA)
http://www.ignca.nic.in

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