The people of Puri are deeply religious and it is one of the holiest destinations for Hindus. Especially for the devotees of Lord Shiva, the city of Puri and its holy temples have incomparable importance. According to Hindu Mythology, the Loknath Temple located close to the world famous pilgrimage the Jagannath Temple was dedicated to Lord Shiva by Lord Rama himself.
Lord Rama is considered the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and hence the importance of the Loknath Temple can hardly be overestimated. Millions of devotees visit the Loknath Temple and the Jagannath Temple every year in order to find solutions to their small and large problems in life.
The Lord Shiva Lingam established at the Loknath Temple is special many different ways. One of the most striking features is the continuous flow of water over its top through a small brook.
This natural formation becomes unique as it matches with the mythological description where The Ganges first falls over the Shiva Lingam and then flows to the Earth; hence Lord Shiva protects people from the fierce force of the Ganges. There are several other interesting tales regarding the Loknath Temple.
The Saranti Somavar Fair is another very important event at the Loknath Temple. It is a five century old fair which is organized annually at the Temple. Even though I was not lucky enough to witness the fair but the locals told me thousands of interesting facts about this immense affair. It is believed that getting the Darshan of the Shiva Lingam at Loknath temple during the Saranti Somavar Fair can cure any disease and in this hope millions of devotees line up every year during the fair to get a glance of the holy Lingam.
The Loknath Temple deity is also considered the protector and guardian of all treasures in Puri. The jewels and Treasures of Lord Jagannath which can only be estimated are also considered to belong to the Guardian. The people who visit the Loknath Temple come with faith in their hearts and go with love for the Lord Shiva, in a hope that their lives will never be the same again.