Recently, I had the opportunity to visit one of the ancient temples located in the state of Odisha- Siruli Mahavir Temple (dedicated to Sri Hanuman). Lord Hanuman is widely worshiped across India as well as the state of Odisha. He is the most ardent devotee of Lord Ram.
The Legend behind the Temple
The Siruli Mahavir is one of the prominent worship grounds for the Hindu devotees in the state. The temple is neither very huge nor highly decorated, but it has the power to attract devotees across the globe. It is a very pious and sacred arena and is surrounded by bountiful nature across it. The image of Lord Hanuman is carved out of stone and is quite spectacular. He holds a mace in one hand and Gandha Madana mountain in another. Another aspect that touches the heart is how spectacularly Lord Ram and Sita have been carved out in the heart of the deity. There is an ancient story behind this, where Lord Hanuman had pulled apart his chest to reveal Lord Ram and Sita residing in it, so as to say, the amount of dedication with which Lord Hanuman worshipped his ideals is beyond compare.
There is also another legend where the locals believe that the deity in this temple keeps an eye on Puri, the abode of Lord Jagannath and an eye on Lanka, the kingdom of Ravana.
The temple is located at a distance of about 33 kilometres from Puri, and about a distance of 65 kilometres from the capital city of Bhubaneswar. What makes the journey picturesque is the roads that you take to get there.
While travelling from Bhubaneswar, you have to take the Bhubaneswar-Puri Highway and at a place called Chandanpur you have to take the village roads and trust me, although the roads are less travelled and a bit narrow, you will thoroughly enjoy the paddy fields and several plantations on both sides of the road. Its soothing to the eyes and satisfying to the soul. Escaping the city life and travelling through the country side has a charm of its own.
And the most beautiful part was I spotted almost a hundred migratory birds in the vicinity and on the small lakes throughout, and perhaps three-four varieties of them. While we travel to bird sanctuaries to catch a glimpse of these birds, they were right there, soaking in the sunshine, with no-one to disturb them. I wish I had captured the scene, but they were at a distance, and some scenes are best left as a treat to the memory.
Once you reach the temple, offer your prayers to the deity and explore the other small temples in the vicinity, you can have “Prasad” and leave for the day, or sit in the place and enjoy some peace and tranquility as I did.