By Dhirnayak dasa, Utkala-Banga Padayatra leader

The Bengal-Orissa Padayatra reached the town of Kantilo, about 100km west of Bhubaneswar, on February 8, 2022. There is a Sri Nilamadhava temple in Kantilo situated on the banks of the Mahanadi River atop twin hills with surrounding green forests. The temple is a miniature form of the Sri Jagannath temple at Puri and observes similar rites and rituals.

Tribal king Visva Vasu was secretly worshipping Nilamadhava. Later the Lord vanished and subsequently appeared in the sea near Puri as a log. From this log Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra were carved and placed in Puri’s Sri Jagannath temple. Eventually a black stone deity of Nilamadhava was placed at the Kantilo temple and is worshipped to this day. A permanent stream of holy water can be seen flowing from the deity’s feet.

We were fortunate to have darshan of Lord Nilamadhava. When we arrived, we could not find a place to stay but by the Lord’s mercy we came across a mataji whose house was close to the Nilamadhava temple. She helped us get accommodation at a Radha-Krishna math. Earlier, when one of our padayatris sought rooms at the same math they had been denied, but when mataji said they all agreed in a minute. They also made arrangements for our prasadam. We had planned to stay there for two days but by the Lord’s mercy we stayed for four days. We did ekadashi vrata there and got darshan of Lord Nilamadhava, The Lord is very merciful.

The Nilamadhava temple pujaris, commonly known as pande, were compassionate and loving. They called us to the front of the temple to perform kirtan on the first day, and on ekadashi also called us for sankirtan. We did parikrama of the temple and did kirtan in front of the Lord. (No-one is allowed to perform kirtan in front of the Lord, but it’s Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtan that Lord Jagannath loves.) The pujaris also gave us a lot of maha prasad, especially in the evening. Later we all had a holy dip in the refreshing Mahanadi River.

Source: https://www.padayatra.com/padayatris-have-darshan-of-lord-nilamadhava-at-kantilo/

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