To the south-western direction of the Jagannath temple, about half a mile away, there is a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is known as Jameswar Temple. Local people also called this temple as Yamesvara Temple, Jamesvara Temple and Jamesvara Mahadeva Temple. The temple is located towards the end of the street in Gaudabada Sahi and facing towards the east. From the architectural point of view, this temple has no such importance but from the cultural point of view, it is one of the important Shiva temple of Puri. Devotees who come to visit Lord Jagannatha temple, also visit the Yamesvara temple.
The presiding deity is a Shivalinga which is situated 6.40 meters below the present ground level. Jameswar Temple is associated with several festival of Jagannatha temple. Jamesvara Mahadeva participates in the Chandana yatra festival of Lord Jagannath. On the day of RadhastamiThe, deity Sudarsana from the Jagannatha temple visits Lord Yamesvara. This temple is also connected with Sagar Bije, Ashram Bije, Sital Sasthi, Champak Dwadasi, Sravana Purnima and Aswina Purnima of Lord Jagannath Temple. The festival of Yama Dwitiya (2nd day bright fortnight of the month of Kärtika) is also observed in this temple with great devotion.
It is believed that once Yama (the God of death) tried to foil the meditation of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva became angry upon such activity by Yama and defeated him in a war. In local language 'Yama' is known as 'Jama'. After his victory over Jama (Yama), Lord Shiva is known as Jamewswar (Yamesvara). It is Lord Jamesvara who is protecting the holy city of Puri from the influence of Yama.
Jameswar Temple is one of the Pancha pandava temple of Puri. As per the legend, Pancha Pandavas (Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva) at the time of disguise for one year, visited this holy place and stayed one night in Puri. Here they worshipped Lord Vishnu for the safety of their journey. As a symbol of their visit, five Shiva temples were built at Puri to memorise their stay at this holy place. These famous five Shiva temples are Lokanatha, Jameswara, Kapalamochana, Markandeswara and Nilakantheswara, together they are known as Pancha Pandavas or the five brothers. Yamesvara is locally called as Yudhistira, the eldest brother among the Pancha Pandavas.
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