By Our Correspondent
BHADRAK/RAJKANIKA: The century old Baba Akhandalamani Temple in Aradi under Dhamanagar Assembly segment of Odisha’s Bhadrak district was hit by a massive fore accident with store room badly damaged.
Police sources said that though no casualty was reported in the mishap, several temple articles and jewellery of the deity were reduced to ashes in the fire.
According to reports, the servitors left the temple after completing all the rituals by 11 pm on Thursday. At around 1 am, when two security personnel were going on rounds inside the temple at around 1 am, they spotted smoke emitting from the store room.
Soon after they informed the temple management about the mishap, a fire fighting team from Dhamnagar reached the spot to douse the flames with the help of servitors. Though the fire could not spread other parts of the temple, property worth lakhs of rupees kept inside the store room were gutted in the fire.
This famous temple, the abode of “Lord Siva” is located in the bank of river Baitarani, at Aradi, 37 kilometres (23 mi) to the east of the district headquarters of Bhadrak via Asurali, Kothara and Dhusuri.
This place is also linked to Chandabali by boat through the river Baitarani. From Chandabali ferry Ghat to Aradi it will take hardly two hours by boat. The temple is just 18 km away from the famous Kali mandir of Rameswarpur village.
There is no conclusive history available either regarding Baba Akhandalamani or the temple of the lord Siva. According to legend, around 350 years ago during the rule of Raja Sri Niladri Samara Singha Mohapatra, one early morning the Raja sent a peasant to cultivate his paddy field on the bank of the river Baitarani.
While cultivating, the blade of his plough was broken by hitting with some hard material. The peasant was astonished and found a black glazed granite stone full of blood flowing toward the river Baitarani. The peasant ran to call King Niladrisamar Singhm and he hurriedly came to the spot, finding a flood of milk in place of blood and a huge black cobra hooding the stone.
That night the king had a dream regarding the arrival of the God Akhandalamani on that place. This news spread like wild fire in the locality. The next day King Niladri Samara Singha Mohapatra started worshiping the great god and immediately built a wooden temple on the spot. A large number of devotees from different villages started visiting and worshiping the great God. The king invited five Brahmins from a village named Naharagrama of Jajapur district to perform seva-puja (worshiping and taking care) of lord Akhandalamani.
The present main temple of Aradi was built by the King of Konika Shri Harihara Bhanja and his chief queen Satyabhama Patadei. The height of the temple is around 150 ft. All the stones used in this temple were brought from the historic hill of Lalitgiri near Chandikhol.