BHUBANESWAR: Would you like an audacious boat journey through the heart of Mahanadi and land on a lonely tranquil island? Then visit Amangeikuda, a mystic place with a holy Shiva temple.
Traveller Deepak Nayak who has ‘found’ it says the temple of “Paschimesvara” is a 9th century structure built by Somavanshis. The shrine is located on a tiny island that is locally known as Amangeikuda in the River Mahanadi near Kandarpur village of Athagarh subdivision of Cuttack district.
It can be approached from the right side of Athagarh-Cuttack road branching off at a distance of 5 km from Kaitha Chowk. A motor boat (run by the Government of Odisha) and small boats are available regularly to reach the destination.
The temple’s architectural plan and the vimana’s decorative features date back to 9th century AD. That is, during the Somavanshis’ rule in Odisha. However, the Pidha Jagamohana and pillared mandapa were added during the rule of Gangas.
The temple was decorated with architectural motifs such as vajramundis in the jangha of the vimana, projecting a lion surmounted by a mastaka on the gondi of the Jagamohana; miniature chaitya housing lotus in the basanta moulding of the pabhaga, kirtimukha, makara, ghatapallava, padmaprosta design and chaitya motifs with or without human head or kirtimukha on the gondi, scroll motifs and double-chaitya medallion on each raha, bird and animal motifs like geese, peacocks, lions and elephants.
Tulia is the man who will carry visitors in the motor boat. He is the one man army. He takes visitors to the island, safely brings them back and more importantly he is the ‘priest’ of the temple. As per tradition, the deity here is worshiped by priests from local Mali community and he belongs to that community. According to Tulia, the state government needs to support such heritage rich place without any delay.