A classic tourist destination of India, Puri is largely a pilgrim place, a
religious centre, a holy land of Lord Jagannath - The Lord of the Universe.
Lord Hanuman is widely worshipped in Orissa. Siruli Mahavir near Puri and Sidha Mahavir of Puri and Panchamukhi Hanuman
of Cuttack are the most prominent Hanuman Pithas of Orissa. Siruli Mahavir Temple is situated about
33 kms on the north east of Puri town on the way from Puri to Bhubaneswar.
The temple is not so important from the architectural point but from
the religious point of view, it is one of the important shrines of Orissa.
A huge figure of Lord Hanuman is enshrined in the sanctum who is the presiding deity of the temple.
The image is carved on a single piece of stone in standing posture . He holds a short dagger in left hand
and gandha mardana mountain in right hand. The figure of Lord Hanumana has
been designed in the attitude of destroying Murasura (a demon). Anjana, the mother of Lord Hanumana is carved to the right side of the pedestal.
The height of the figure is about 10 feet and made of black chlorite stone. A legend regarding the deity is ever fresh and popular among the locals, the left side eye of Lord Hanuman is set
towards Lord Jagannatha temple of Puri and the right eye is set towards Lanka, the native place of Ravana. A Shiva Linga canopied by seven hooded serpent is carved on top of the head of the figure.
The figure of Lord Mahavir exhibits Lord Rama and Goddess Sita in his tearing heart.
The temple faces to south and is built with both laterite and sand stones. Two huge lions are installed on both
sides of the main entrance gate. The outer walls of the main temple contain figures
of Hanumana, Ganesha, Mahisamardini Durga, Siva Linga and bull. The figures of nine planets (navagrahas) are carved above the eastern side entrance of the temple.
There is a very old Peepal tree (Ashvastha tree) in front of the temple.
Local people say that the temple was built by Anangabhima Deva - III, the Ganga ruler of Orissa.
People have great faith on Lord Mahavir and they attend this Siruli temple in large numbers every day and during various festive seasons. Festivals like Makara
Sankranti, Rama Navami, Dola Purnima are observed in this temple with great interest and splendor.