Rare And Unique Jagannath & Koti Shivalinga Parbat
Anantasayee Jagannath & Koti Shivalinga Parbat
Today I am going to write about a unique place which is better known as the abode of eternally sleeping Jagannath atop mountain of ten million Shivalinga ( Anantasayee Jagannath at Koti Shivalinga Parbat ), situated at Kutunipadar of Laxmipur block, Koraput. This particular place holds utmost importance from three different perspectives…It is a centre of Saivism ( Shivalinga),Shaktism ( Maa Tarini) and Vaishnavism( Anantasayee Jagannath) at the same time. Kutunipadar is a hamlet in Laxmipur block in Koraput district. It is located 49 km east from Koraput town( South Odisha , 492 km from state capital Bhubaneswar ).
The connecting road goes through Kakiriguma and Laxmipur. Normally people know about the Anantasayee Lord Vishnu. In any case, not many people do know about such a place where one finds the Anantasayee Jagannath. Most probably only one Anantasayee Jagannath sculpture…. It looks somewhat primitive in sculptural treatment, a very weird and unique portrayal of Lord Jagannath. It is found in the caves of a hill called Kutunipadar. It comes while heading to Narayanpatna ( South Odisha) from Laxmipur in a profoundly Mao infested area.
Throughout the ages, the temple of Lord Jagannath, Puri ,had been attacked and ravaged eighteen times in the archives of history. The main intrusion was not by Muslims but rather by Raktabahu. The temple was a worthwhile spot of abundance for those invaders to loot. At the point when the temple was being attacked, the servitors were moving the Idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra to a far off spot and stowing away there..and during one of those underground times,maybe the nearby tribals have sculpted this Anantasayee Jagannath..
It is always believed that Jainism was a thriving religion in the Koraput area because of widespread availability of Jain sculptures in Nandapur, Kachela( 15kms from Koraput), Subai ( only 8kms away from Nandapur) etc. Later on several Tirthankara images started being revered as Shankara because of the rising influence of Saivism. But these numerous Shivalingas justify the dominant influence of Saivism sometime later may be… Saivism was acquainted with Odisha by the Bhoumakara dynasty that administered over the locale for a long time(>200 years), as per antiquarians. From that point forward, the worship of Lord Shiva has been a significant practice with several Shiva temples across the state. Of these sanctums, ‘Koti Shivalinga Parbat’ (Mountain of one crore or ten million Shivalingas) at Kutunipadar in Laxmipur block of Koraput district is popular among worshippers for its conventional importance as well as picturesque excellence.
Lord Jagannath sculpture unearthed
Tarini temple at Kutunipadar
I had paid a visit to this place during the rainy season. The swampy lichen covered strides, during downpours, were slippery . It was in an ensemble with the encompassing excellence covered with vegetation. Twelve metal ( alloy of copper and zinc) chimes were hung there before the passageway of the temple. Soon after the passage , there stood the dark pony( carrier of Goddess Tarini) . Here , the temple ritual is a little different . The coconut being offered to the Goddess Tarini is cut through an axe. Devotees offer pigeons, parrots , chickens etc. to the Goddess but they are released back to nature . They are never sacrificed before the Goddess.
So many idols unearthed at a single place
Countless Shiva Lingas at Kutunipadar
There were countless numbers of Shiva Lingas of different shapes there and the size goes from a couple of inches to 4 feet. The priest Sunari Kuldip said it’s the popular ‘Koti Shivalinga Parbat’, which contains one crore Shivalinga around there. The spot is dabbed with various Shivalingas, many actually under the earth remaining buried, holding on to be found sometime someday. The priest has taken the help of nearby villagers to dig out several of those Shivalingas .
Though his previous three generations were worshiping there, Sunari Kuldip was unable to provide any solid idea about the antiquities of sculptures out there. The antiquities of these sculptures can only be ascertained by proper research with modern technologies ( like Carbon dating, Petrology & Radiology etc) . Besides, even the villagers are purely veggie lovers as a mark of respect to the deity and participate in the Maha Shivaratri festivals at the temple with full intensity consistently. Thousands of devotees throng to this site on the Shivaratri night with single-minded dedication and devotion for Baba Mukteshwar.They observe ‘Jagara’ with earthen lamps on its premises till the holy lamp is lifted to the highest point of the temple.
Numerous Hindu Idols Carved in the Walls
Sudarshan Chakra of Lord Vishnu unearthed.
Lord Ramachandra’s bow
Lord Ganesh and the Bhima’s Gada( a kind of armour)
Anantasayee Lord Jagannath
Swords and numerous varieties of metal armours have been unearthed.
All the cave walls are carved with various Hindu idols, i.e. Shiva-Parvati, Vishnu, Jagannath, Ganesh, Laxmi, Kaali
Balajee, Brahma etc. Those ancient artisans have taken utmost care to carve these idols. It’s a visual treat to the eyes. Several swords and other metal armours have been rescued underearth inside the temple premises. So it is being expected that it was possibly a fort / castle having armouries long back. The focal point of the temple has a ton of Lingas in addition to the Anantasayee Jagannath idol.
I think the need of the hour is to take utmost efforts to preserve such a site for our posterity. This is even more significant on the grounds that the image of Lord Jagannath is traditionally worked out of wood. But here the image of Jagannath has been made out of stone having four hands holding Sankha,Chakra, Gada, Padma in the line of Lord Vishnu. When the priest’s mother Cherumani was interviewed, she expressed her mental agony at the local leaders and governments apathy in this regard.They are doing nothing for the development of the site, she said painfully. It is because of her three generations long efforts ( since its discovery around fifty years back) along with the help and cooperation of the local villagers , the site has not yet gone into oblivion.
Dr. Manoj Mishra