Besides the central attraction of Lord Jagannath temple, Puri is also famous for various famous Shiva temples. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located in the southern bank of Indradyumna tank. This temple is known as Nilakantheswar temple. The name of the temple is also spelled as Nilakanthesvara temple, Nilkantheshwar temple and Neelakantheswar temple. It is located at the end of the road leading from Gundicha temple towards the Indradyumna tank. The temple is facing towards east and the enshrined deity is a Sivalinga. There are five prominent Saiva temples in Puri, together known as Pancha Pandava (five pandavas) temples. Nilakantheswar temple is one of them. Other four Pancha Pandavas are Sri Lokanatha, Sri Jamesvara, Sri Kapalamochana and Sri Markandesvara.
Lord Siva is known by many names and 'Nilakantheswar' is one of them. Nilakantheswar means 'someone whose throat colour is blue'. The word 'Nilakantheswar' is derived from two words, 'Nila' and 'Kantha'. In Odia language 'Nila' means 'Blue' and 'Kantha' means 'Throat'. A famous story associated behind the name 'Nilakantheswar'. In Hinduism, 'Samudra Manthan' (The churning of the ocean) is one of the most famous episode depicted in the Puranas. During Samudra Manthan, many objects became lost in the ocean, Lord Siva is said to have drunk the poison that rose out of it to protect the world from its effect. The poison dyed his throat blue and since then He known as Nilakantheswar.
The holy city of Puri is guarded by eight Siva temples and Nilakanthesvara Siva temple is one of them. The eight temples are located in eight directions of Puri town and save the people of Puri from danger. Sitalasasthi, Maha Sivaratri, Dola Purnima and Pana Sanktranti festivals are observed in this temple. Marriage ceremony, thread ceremony, engagements etc. are also celebrated here.
Nilakantheswara Temple Photo Gallary