Wandering Destination: Ghanteshwari Temple
As the name suggests, Ghanta means bells. The title "Ghanteshwari" is originated from the fact that, devotees tie a bell when they visit with some wish. Hundreds and thousands of bells are tied to the holy tree under which the idol of the goddess is situated. Even the breeze rings the bells to create a sweet tinkling sound from the thousands and tiny and big bells.
In front of the temple is the Mahanadi river bed. The width of the river is large which with the green mountains in the backdrop with some white clouds on the rich blue sky is a beauty to watch on a clear day. However, in earlier times, this beautiful place was dangerous to the sailors.
One story behind the concept of bells goes like this: The Mahanadi river earlier used to have whirlpools which have claimed many lives. An idea of a ‘lighthouse without light’ was born. It was decided by the sailors to build a warning system to intimate the sailor as he approaches the very dangerous spot near Ghanteshwari Temple. To warn any sailor nearing this spot bells were ranged with full force to produce a loud sound.
Due to the Hirakud Dam built for the flood control, the water level in the bed is now controlled. Controlled flow of Mahanadi obsoletes then much-needed warning-mechanism, however, faith and beliefs of people in Maa Ghanteshwari are still strong. Thousands of devotees visit the temple daily and pray to their beloved goddess.