Dhabaleswar Temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. It is situated at a distance of 37 kilometers from the city of Cuttack, in the exotic island of Dhabaleshwar. It is one of the famous weekend tours from Cuttack. The temple, located in an island on River Mahanadi, is embellished with stone carvings that date back to the early 10th and 11th century. The serene ambiance, in which the temple is situated, inspires spiritual feeling among one and all.
The name Dhabaleswar ( Dhabala or White + Eeswar or God ) is attributed to a miracle performed by ##Lord Shiva### Once a thief stole a black bull calf from a village and fled to a Shiva temple# He hid himself with the calf in the sanctum while the angry crowd waited outside the temple# The crowd could clearly hear the calf calling out# The thief prayed fervently to Lord Shiva to deliver him from the crowd# Taking pity on him, the Lord appeared as a ##Sanyassin## before the crowd and asked them the cause of their agitation# On being told that they suspected the thief of hiding in the sanctum along with the black calf, the sanyassin brought the calf outside to dispel their doubts# The calf turned out to be white, seeing which the crowd let the thief go# The sanyassin disappeared and the thief realized who had come to his aid# He confessed and apologized to the crowd# He took a vow to spend the rest of his life in the service of the Lord# The act of turning a black calf to white caused Lord Shiva to be also known as Dhabaleswara#
Present Day Temple
The present temple structure was constructed by Bir Kishor, ruler of ##Khurda### It is said that once he set out on a hunt with his personal bodyguards and attendants# During the course of the hunt, they discovered the original temple which was in a derelict state# The king ordered the renovation of the temple, granted an area of land measuring 314 manas# He also entrusted the care and service of the temple to one Mali# The family of Mali later on found the village of Malisahi which falls on the way to the temple# This was done in 1153 of the ##Saka## era which would be 1232 AD# The present day temple was renovated and repaired by ##bhubaneswar Development Authority### Purnachandra Panda is the chief priest of the temple#
Reaching the Temple
The Dhabaleswar Siva Temple is located on top of the hillock of Dhauli over looking the Asokan Edicts in the foot hills# The temple is facing towards east# It is a living temple# The enshrined deity is a large Siva-lingam within a circular yonipitha# The temple is of sand stone which has now been plastered and white washed concealing the details of the original structure# Being situated on an island, the temple can be reached by boats leaving from ferries in or near ##Cuttack### There is also a foot bridge which devotees or visitors can use on paying a nominal fee# People from the nearby villages have set up a number of shops leading to the bridge and the temple’s entrance# It can be easily reached via Chowdwar, Cuttack.