Titlagarh: Dhabaleswar temple on the Kumuda hill, near Titlgarh town in Bolangir district, is a well-known Shiva shrine of western Odisha.
The hill is of great tourism interest where Lord Dhabaleswar is worshipped in a large and natural spacious cave measuring an area of 80 feet by 40 feet. There are three other caves.
The temple is just 40 feet from the foothill. It is a small but a famous temple in this area due to its religious significance. A great number of visitors visit this temple as Lord Dhabaleswar is believed to be granting the wishes of devotees. Thousands of visitors pay visit to the temple during Shravana and Shivaratri.
Manifestation of Lord Dhabaleswar
When asked about the origin of the temple in this place, the main priest of the temple said, during the reign of Ashoka, he with his soldiers was on a visit to western Odisha. During their visit, King Ashoka took rest on the Kumuda hill where he found the Shiv ling inside one of the caves of the hill.
After that he established a Shiv temple and named it as Dhbaleswar. It is believed that a secrete tunnel is connected to Ranipur-Jharial temple 45 km from the Dhableswar temple.
Sculptural designs of the temple
The temple is all the more significant as there is a Shree Ram Temple in its vicinity. The landscape is beautified by a small reservoir on the top of the hill. There is also a reservoir covering a large area where water sports activities can be done. This is an ideal place for week-end leisure tourists. Side temples like Yagyan Mandap, Tulasi temple, Chandi temple and Ghantasini temple are other attractions of this place.
A cave named tiger cave is the main attraction for tourists as it is said a tiger had been living inside the cave and locals were worshipping the tiger by offering him fruits and milk.
Tiltlagarh Municipality has also established a Pramod Udyan (amusement park) for the tourists here.
‘Kumuda Hill’ is 70 km from the district headquarters of Bolangir which is famous for its natural surroundings. Here also lies a huge piece of stone covering 2.5 km and its shape creates an image of an ox.
The district administration has been taking many steps for the beautification of the hill after the state government declared it as a tourist place. From 2013, a massive plantation drive has been started on the hill to give a green look.
Among other festivals, Mahasivaratri is celebrated with lots of pomp and gaiety. The festival is observed for seven days in the temple where traders from various districts flock here and put up temporary shops, mini buzzars and amusement rides. Devotees from Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and various districts of the state visit the temple. There are budget hotels available here.
A trust board has been formed to manage the day to day affairs of the temple. The sub-collector of Titilagarh, local MLA and others are in the trust board.
The nearest airport is Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar (248 km), Veer Surendra Sai Airport in Jharsuguda (179 km) and Swami Vivekananda International Airport in Raipur (201 km).
There is also a train connectivity. Once reaching Titilagarh station one can use auto-rickshaw or can come to the temple on roads. Bus from Titilagarh bus stand is another option available for the tourists.