SRI MAHAVIR TEMPLE, SIRULEE, PURI DISTRICT, ORISSA ....
sri premananda das, cuttack
Sirulee of Orissa
As you travel from Bhuvaneswar to Puri in the National highway after crossing Chandanpur you will come to crossing known as Sirulee crossing or Tulascholwa crossing. In case you want to visit one of the oldest Lord Hanuman temples, you have to take a left turn and move about ten-KM and you will come to a small pleasant village known as Sirulee. The village is not very big but the temple built for Lord Hanuman is. All the roads of the village will lead you the temple. This village is twenty-two KM from Puri and around seventy two-KM from Bhuvaneswar.
Legend has it that after the successful mission, Lord Ram had returned to Ayodhya after having killed the demon king Ravana of Lanka. During Lord Ram's rule people were happy and leading a prosperous life, and there was no dearth of food and other wealth. Lord Hanuman was on a pilgrimage and had visited Lord Jagannath of Puri and was returning to Ayodhya. On His way when it was evening time He saw beautiful pond full of lotus flowers and Hanuman then decided to offer His evening prayers. The Lord stopped near the pond, had his wash and started His prayer. After finishing of His prayer He proceeded further towards Ayodhya. This place had where the Lord Hanuman had offered the prayer is presently known as Sirulee.
Sirulee Mahavir temple
It is said that the Mahavir is 'swayambuhu' and the people were worshiping the Lord for very long time. The temple for the Lord was expanded and rebuilt by Maharaj Cholaganga Dev during sixth Century, using granite stones for the entire building. A huge well was dug inside the temple premises for drinking purpose and puja pursose. The total area of five acres houses the temple complex. He had renovated the tank and constructed steps for the tank with stones. The learned pundits belonging to the Sabari-narayan village near Bilaspur were invited to be the priest of the temple by the then Maharajas.
Lord Mahavir of Sirulee
Idol of the Lord is about twenty feet tall. Idol of the Lord is West Facing. The width of the chest of the lord is around eight feet. In His right hand he holds the ring given by Sri Rama for Sri Sita and He holds along with this the 'chutamani' given by Mata Sri Sita for Sri Rama. The peculiarity of the eyes of the Lord is note worthy. Both the eyes of the Lord are not seemed to be in alignment. While the left eye of the Lord is directed towards the hole in the wall,the other eye is seeing southward. If you happen to be in the early morning in the temple you will be able to see the blue charka on the top of the Puri Jagannath temple through this hole. It is said that the Lord Mahavir's (Hanuman's)eyes are fixed towards the 'neel-chakra' of the Lord Jagannath's temple. The other eye is seen fixed towards Lanka.
Festivals and Neivadyam
Sankaranthi of every month is celebrated in the temple. Avil neivadyam is offered every Tuesday to the Lord. One day in a year there is no puja for the Lord, and that day only Tulsi water is offered to the Lord. Now a day apart from Avil as neivadyam- bada bhog, kadamba, Chudaghasa are also offered to the Lord Mahavir. (Chudaghasa is made with one Kg of Avil, ten coconuts [dry] half Kg of Pure Cow Ghee and half Kg of sugar)
Many Mahavir devotees from all over Orissa visit this temple regularly. There are certain families who visit this temple before any wedding or other aspious ceremony in their family. In this kshethra Lord Mahavir who is always seeing the 'neel-chakra' of the Lord Jagannath's temple and gaurding that temple, is blessing his devotees as He is Presenna Mahavir.
additional information by dr. sri jaya shankar [ed. 01.12.2005]