Gupteswar is a shrine of Lord Shiva situated about 55 km away Jeypore, Koraput District in the state of Odisha, India. It is a limestone cave discovered some time ago and has a number of scenic spots around.
According to mythology, the lingam was first discovered by Lord Rama when he was roaming in the then Dandakaranya forest with wife Sita and brother Laxman, and later worshipped it calling it "Gupteswar". The poet Kalidas too, described the scenic beauty of Ramgiri forest where the cave temple is referred to in his famous Meghadutam.
However, with the passing of time, the temple was abandoned. Later, in the last part of the 19th century, a hunter of the Ramgiri area found the lingam. Since then the lingam has been worshipped by the tribes of Koraput region.
The main attraction is the gigantic Shiva Linga which is said to be increasing in size. Pilgrims from all over the country come here during the Sravana period, because the yearly BolBom yatra is held at this place. Devotees walk to the Gupteshwar during BolBom yatra to bathe in the maha kund, and then chant near the Shiva Linga. The cave is more or less like the Bora caves ( India - Odisha and Andhra border ). you have got same feelings in other natural places . But this Gupteswar cave is special for the underground water. It is really worth seeing. It is a natural cave with Stalagmites. One has to reach the end to view the superb scene .
After taking bath in the river Sabari, also known as Pataliganga, devotees offered prayers in the cave temple, situated at a height of 1,000 metres.
Surrounded by a dense forest of sal trees and flanked by the Kolab river, a 2m high lingam stands in the cave. The shrine is called "Gupteswar" which means the "Hidden God". It is so named because it was lying hidden in the cave for a very long period. One can reach it by climbing the 476 steps flanked with rows of champak trees. The entrance of the cave is about 3 m wide and 2 m in height. There are also several other caves nearby. Inside the second cave there is a large stalactite. People worship it as the udder of God Kamadhenu (the divine cow) and wait under it with outstretched palms to collect drops of water which fall only at long intervals.
Popularly known as "Gupta Kedar" in the vicinity, this sacred place, endowed with unusual natural beauty, is associated with Shri Rama of the epic Ramayana. The nearby hill has been named "Ramagiri". In Shivaratri (a Hindu festival) Gupteswar Temple draws over 200,000 devotees from Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. People suffering from incurable diseases come here to worship the God and remain here for months in the hope of getting cured.
There are five perennial poles of water called Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Bhargavi and Indradyumna. The entrance of the cave looks like two jaws and the Shiva Linga is located at the meeting point of the jaws.
Similarly, thousands of people offer prayers at Paikpada, which is famous for the 9th century Pataleshwar Shiva temple. It is believed that there are 99,99,999 Shiva Lingas (only one less than one crore) in and around the temple.