NRUSINGHANATH TEMPLE

Know your location
» East India
» Orissa
Location : Gandhamardan Hills, Baragarh District, Orissa
Dates Back : 14th Century
Excursion : Harishankar Temple & Ruins of University of Parimalagiri
Architectural Style : Orissan Temple Architecture

The Legend
Located in the sacred Gandhamardan Hills, which according to legends, Hanuman carried on his shoulders from the Himalayas as described in the ancient epic Ramayana, the temple at Nrusinghanath is an important pilgrimage site. It is also an exceedingly fascinating and beautifully located temple and is worth the journey to this rather remote spot.

The present temple, located at the source of the 'Papaharini' stream, is a 14th century structure built on a more ancient site. The four pillars within the 'Jagmohana' suggest that the earlier temple was built in the 9th century. The beautiful doorframes have been dated to the 11th century.

The Site
The site of the temple is unique. Stone steps wind up the hillside behind the temple, leading past a waterfall, and eventually curving under the falls to a spot where some beautiful, and very well preserved relief sculptures are found. The climb to the carvings and return journey will take about an hour. Since shoes are not permitted on these sanctified pilgrimage steps, those with tender feet should take along a pair of heavy socks for the climb.

Harishankar Temple
On the opposite slope of the hill on which the temple is located, is the "Harishankar Temple". Between the two temples there is a 16-km. plateau, littered with Buddhist ruins that scholars feel may be the remains of the ancient University of "Parimalagiri", referred to by the 7th century Chinese traveler 'Hiuen T'sang' as "Po-lo-mo-lo-ki-li".



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