The Great Dhabaleswar Temple is situated at around 35 km distance from the main city of Cuttack. It is a temple of Lord Shiva and it is situated in the middle of the River Mahanadi where boats are the only medium to reach. Dhabaleswar is one of the most happening tourist places of the State. Because of the location, deep inside the lap of nature it has become the most favorite picnic spot of the people of Cuttack and nearby places.
History behind Dhabaleswar Temple Cuttack
The Dhabaleswar temple is made by stone carving in the early 10th and 11th century. As per mythology the name Dhabaleshwar is derived from the combination of two words, Dhabala and Eeswar which literally means White and God respectively.
There is an interesting story behind the name of the temple. Once a thief stole a black bull calf and took shelter in the Shiva temple due to the fear of the villagers running behind him. The thief prayed to the idol of Lord Shiva in the temple. Lord Shiva who is known for his kindness took pity on the thief and came in front of the crowd gathered in front of the temple in the avatar of a priest. He asked the crowd about reason behind the gathering and after knowing the entire story of the thief he entered into the temple and brought a white calf from inside the temple to clear the doubts of the gathered crowd. People got the clarity that the man was not the thief and they let him move from there peacefully. By that time the priest disappeared but the thief got to know the fact and regretted in front of people and told them all about the Lord Shiva coming and saving him. From that day the he took the decision to stay there and spend rest of his life in service of Lord Shiva. The act of turning the black calf white got Lord Shiva another name, Dhabaleswar. And the temple was named after him Dhabaleswar Temple.
The structure of the Dhabaleswar Temple that can be seen now was crafted by Bir Kishore, the emperor of Khurda. This also has an interesting story behind it. As per history, in the 13th century AD, King Bir Kishore once been on the hunting into the jungles, found this temple at a very abandoned state. He immediately ordered to re-construct the temple and also kept special people in charge to take care of the temple. The king also offered huge land for the renovation purpose of the temple.
Dhabaleswar Temple Cuttack at Present
Presently the temple is maintained by the BDA (Bhubaneswar Development Authority). Several changes have been done by the tourism department keeping in mind the value of ancient monuments of the state.
Location of Dhabaleswar Temple Cuttack
The Temple is situated on the peak of a hillock of Dhouli which is on an Island right at the middle of the River Mahanadi, hence boats are the only medium to reach there yet there are foot bridges being built from the nearby villages end. The temple can be easily visited from Choudwar at Cuttack. The peaceful atmosphere at Dhabaleswar where the temple is situated gives a spiritual feelings and that has an impact on the heart and soul of the visitors.