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Dr. Upendra Nath Dhal is at present Reader in Sanskrit, at the Post-Graduate Department of Sanskrit, Utkal University, Bhubneswar.

He has got a number of publications to his credit, among them are included Goddess Lakhsmi: Origin end Development, Glory that was Viraja Kshetra etc. His research papers on different aspects of Purana literature and Indian religion appear in different research Journals. Presently he is preparing the "Studies in the Ekamra Purana", for its proper exposition.



Bhubaneswar, the city eternal is the happy abode of the gods. It stands amidst a vast expanse of lush fields and groves overlooking the mountain caves of Khandagiri and Udayagiri. The spacious and limpid river Daya flowing nearby and the mountain Dhauli standing majestically take the mind nostalgically to the Great Kalinga War of Asoka in the days of yore and his melancholic broodings which trans formed him from Candasoka to Dharmasoka. Beautiful and majestic temples dating from 6th century A.D. onwards with their sculptures full of power and life representing the gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon stand here symbolizing the magnificence of man's spiritual aspiration that defies time and creed. Further the full breasted and deep-hipped ladies with their lovelorn spouses in deep embracing mood, the danseuses and other sublime sculptures in the temples reveal the typical Indian mind which is at once amorous, obscene, subtle and refined. The place along with its adjoining area was known as Ekamra Ksetra in antiquity. God-intoxicated people from various corners of India flock together in the Ksetra. Though Siva is the tutelary deity and the Ksetra a predominantly Saiva Ksetra other gods have also their own majestic sanctums. A pilgrimage to the holy shrines is considered by most Indians as a significant event that fulfils their life on earth and a path leading to the liberation from the shackles of life and death. The Ekamra Purana like Mahatmya, Nepala Mahatmya, Gaya Mahatmya, etc., aims at luring the pilgrims through a dialysis of religious consciousness by working on the glorification of Ekamra Ksetra in religious terms. It is classed under Upapuranas and is Sivaite in character. Though more than five centuries have elapsed since its composition scholars have failed in their proper estimation of the text due to its transcription in Oriya script.



The Ekamra Purana is accepted as one of the oldest works of Orissa and deals with the glory and greatness of Ekamra Ksetra. Bhubaneshwar, the new capital of Orissa. At to the title of the Ksetra, it is said that due to the presence of a lovely tope of a single Mango tree (ekamra vrksa) in the area, it was named after it. Another account seeks to differ from the above slightly and states that the Ksetra was so named as it was surrounded by hundreds of Mango groves. Even though these two accounts do not agree literally, it is evident that due to the presence of a Mango grove the Ksetra was so named. Thus the text derives the title.

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