SIDDHA MAHAVIR

The temple of Siddha Mahavir is situated at a distance of about one Km to the north-east of the Gundicha temple of Puri. This is a small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. From the architectural point of view the temple is not so important but from the religious point of view, it is one of the important shrines of Puri. Tulasi Das, the famous author of Rama Charita Manasa, stayed here for sometime when he visited Puri. The shrine of Siddha-Mahavir is an important place, where the presiding deity is greatly revered by the local people. God Siddha Mahavir is considered as one of the Eight Mahavirs of Puri town. This temple is built in sand stones and faces to east.

The image of Lord Mahavir (Hanumana), the presiding deity of the temple, is about 6 feet in height. He holds gada(club) in left hand and a massive rock boulder (Gandha-Mardana Mountain) in right hand. The deity has been installed on a decorated pedestal of 2 feet high. The slab of the presiding deity is carved with a series of Hanuman figures in different postures. They are locally considered as the asta-mallas such as Sugriba, Jambu bahana, Bali, Angada, Susena etc. These figures are also believed to be the eight advisers of Lord Rama during his expedition to Lanka to fight against Ravana for rescue of Sita. A brass image of Hanumana (Mahavira) has also been kept on the same pedestal as the vije pratima for ceremonial occasions. The presiding deity of the temple is very attractive to visitors and it is the best specimen of the fine workmanship. The background slab is relieved with scroll works, flower medallions and various scenes from the Ramayana.

The main temple (Vimana) of Siddha Mahavira is partially adorned with different sculptures and scenes. The three sides of the main temple are housed with images of Yamaraj, Keshari and Devi Anjana. The southern side wall of the temple contains the image of Yamaraja. The two handed image of Lord Yama has been installed on the plain pedestal. He is carved in seated posture on the backside of buffalo, the conventional mount. Lord Yama displays gada(club) in right hand and kala phasa in left hand respectively. The western side wall of the temple contains a statue of a male figure is locally worshipped as Keshari. The two handed image of Keshari has been installed on the decorated pedestal. He holds gada(club) in left hand and aksha mala in right hand. He is also wearing the garland of beads in his body. Six Hanumana figures are finely carved on the pedestal. Two female figures are flanked on either side of the deity. They are displaying flywhisks in their hands. The western side wall of the temple contains Devi Anjana (Mother of Lord Mahavir). The two-armed image of Devi Anjana has been installed on the double petalled lotus pedestal. She holds her child (Lord Hanuman) by her two hands. Two female figures are flanked on either side of the devi. All the side wall images of the main temple are made of black chlorite stone.

The entrance temple (Mukhasala) of Siddha Mahavira is also adorned with different sculptures and scenes. There is a scene of royal procession with two elephants inserted into a niche of the northern side wall of the Mukhasala of the temple. The elephants are placed one in front of the other so that only one is visible in this view. The front figure of the near elephant is of royal lineage as suggested by the two parasols hold by attendant figures, one on each elephant. Three figures with folded hands stand in-front of the elephants while an acrobat rolled into a ball is beneath the head of the near elephant. The head of the royal figure is completely missing. Some senior priests of the temple say that it is tour scene of Indra Devata. Most probably, this scene is a royal tour of Puri king. An elephant and a horse with their grooms are carved on the pedestal of the royal procession slab. A short line of inscription is engraved just below the sculptural panel.

The left side eastern entrance wall of the Jagamohana contains an image of Panchamukhi (Five faced) Ganesha in its niche. The slab of the deity is exquisitely carved by the artist. The ten-handed image of Ganesha has been installed on the decorative pedestal. His right five hands display chakra(disk), snake, trident, broken tusk, and varada mudra while the left five hands hold gada(club), pasa, ankusa, flower and a bell. The slab of the Panchamukhi Ganesha is carved out of black chlorite.

The right side eastern entrance wall of the Mukhasala is relieved with the sikshadana scene. It is the teaching scene of Vyasadeva who is reciting the Bhagabata Purana among his disciples. The guru is seated in a pavilion with his right leg crossed over his left and right hand raised as if imparting instructions. Facing him are three rows of two figures each. Both male and female devotees are flanked on either side of guru. Most of these devotees are carved in folded hands.

The surface of the temple complex is about 4 feet high from the road level. A boundary wall of 10 feet high has enclosed the temple and it measures approximately 80 feet in length on the northern and southern sides and 60 feet in width on the eastern and western sides respectively. The modern flat roof covers the main entrance porch of the temple complex. Two huge lions are installed on the both sides of the main entrance gate of the eastern side. They are acting as the gatekeepers of the temple.

There is a beautiful pond in front of the temple. Devotees wash their hands and feets in this pond before entering into the temple. The temple complex also houses a kitchen in the left side to cook foods for the presiding deity. People have great faith on Lord Mahavir and they attend this temple in large numbers every day (in more numbers on Tuesday) and during various festive seasons. Festivals like Makara Sankranti, Rama Navami, Dola Purnima are observed in this temple with great interest.

Siddha Mahavir Temple Photo Gallary

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