The different cultural beliefs of the people of Dhenkanal District are mentioned below -
Shaivism: Shaivism found a fertile ground in this district of Orissa. Lord Shiva is worshipped in several places throughout the district. There are some eminent temples dedicated to lord Shiva. Like for instance, Shiva temples are located at Ganeshkhola, at Aswakhola, at Jibankhola and also in the heart of Dhenkanal town.
Vaishnavism: It relates to worship of Lord Vishnu and his incarnations. Dhenkanal District has a great impact on Vaishnava sect. Sridhar swami a Vaishnava saint settled at Kapilash and wrote the annotations of Srimat Bhagavatam in Sanskrit language. The image of Nrishinga at Kapilash, the temple of Sri Narayana, the foot print of Sri Gauranga, Sri Patitapavana Jaganath image in the temple of Lord Chandrasekhar signifies the evolvement of Vaishnava cult in Dhenkanal District. It further developed by the royal patronage of the kings who ruled the region.
Harisingh Vidyadhar constructed Sidha Balarama Temple at Dhenkanal and which was subsequently completed by Nrusingha Bhamarbar. The advent of Goudiya Vaishnavism or the Bhakti cult created an epoch in the spiritual history of Dhenkanal District. Raja Kunjabehari was a Vaishnava who wrote 'Premsheela' a spiritual script. Kabi Brajanath wrote Keli kalanidhi, Gopibilapa and many other Vaishnava kavyas. Rajarshi Surapratap spearheaded the spiritual field. He created Debottar Department for Dhenkanal and appointed Sri Parvati Charan Das as the magistrate. He erected Jaganath Temple in the premises of Lord Balaram Temple, constructed Jay Gopal Temple and the famous Kunjakanta Temple at Dhenkanal District.
Shaktism: Along with Shaivism and Vaishnavism, Shaktism or the worship of Shakti, Indian Goddess is evident in the district. Parvati image at Kapilas, Brahmani Devi temple, Dhakinakali temple, Ma Sundarsuni and Ma Jenadei at Dhenkanal proves that the practice worship of Shaktiis still in force. Dhenkanal has a martial tradition and the rural militia namely the 'Paikas' are the traditional warriors who worship Goddess Durga. Hence in different part of the district Shakti temples can be found. The Stambeswari at Kualo, Ramachandi, on Brahmini bank, Sukia Bauti temple at Hindol, etc. are famous Shaktipeeths in India.
Mahima Dharma: It is the unique contribution of Dhenkanal to the spirituality of the country. Joranda is the centre of the Mahima dharma. Mahima dharma originated in such a manner in which there were no critical rituals of the Brahmanism. It also does not believe in caste and creed. The teachings of this dharma were simple and understandable by the rural people.
All these beliefs and religions reflect the religious culture of Dhenkanal District.
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