During a road trip in Odisha, I stumbled upon one of the most peaceful and exquisite temples in the recent past – the Neelkantheshwara Temple, Nirmal Jhar, Ganjam district of Odisha
Nirmaljhar derives its name from two words nirmala meaning pure and jhara meaning stream. The sacred spring of Nirmaljhar originates from the foothills of Marua hill, a part of the Badaghati Mountains of the eastern Ghats
About the Temple –
The temple was constructed in 1676 by Raja Aparajita Sri Balukeswar Mardaraj who was the most popular and strong ruler of the Mardaraj dynasty of Khallikore.
Nilkantheswar is the main deity of the temple. Other gods are Bimala, Radhakrishna, Jagannath and Surya, the Sun God.
The beautifully carved works in Snana mandapa, Magara mandapa and Dola mandapa are quite attractive. The Nilakhantheswara temple has beautiful sculptures of Parvati, Kartikeya, Ganesha on its walls.
After our stay at the OTDC resort in Rambha, we headed to Nirmal Jhar through scenic roads. I had no idea of what we are going to see there.
The first view of the temple. There was no crowd and hence no queue. We were one of the first ones to enter.
The workers at the temple were performing their daily chores of cleaning the temple.
The terrace of the temple was accessible through a flight of stairs. We could get a good view of the village and around.
This is one of the best piece of carving we saw there. Krishna, to tease the bathing gopis, took their clothes and sat on a tree playing flute.
I could see an very old lock from the British era.
The beautifully carved ceiling of one of the temples.
This temple had quite a lot of erotic sculpture. Some of them are here –
I paused for sometime to observe how this girl extracted sandal paste and applied to her forehead before praying to the god.
The pure water – Nirmal Jhar
The beautifully carved ceiling.
We spent about 2 hours in the temple before leaving to our next destination.
This post will be incomplete without a Thanks to Ardhendu Sekhar Panda for choosing me to accompany him for his travels around Odisha to learn photography.
This post is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. His aim of life is to see India. He is a travel photographer and a photography trainer.