Lakhs of devotees thronged to the Ganesh temple at Panchama near Berhampur city on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. Elaborate arrangements were made to celebrate the occasion at the ancient shrine where the Lord is believed to have emerged from a cavity of a peepal tree. Situated about 10 km from the city, near Andhra-Odisha border, the temple has 15th century architecture. The temple itself is said to have been built by King Purushottam Dev (1467-1497) during his journey to marry Princess Padmabati, daughter of then king of Kanchi. Legends say that he heard a celestial voice in his sleep asking him to appease Lord Ganesh before leaving the place to be successful. Following this, Purushottam Dev and his troops looked for an idol of Lord Ganesh and after a long search found one in the tree. He offered his prayers and after returning from Kanchi with his bride built a small temple there for daily prayers.
Though thousands of devotees from various parts of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and
Bengal throng the shrine during Ganesh Chaturthi, no measures have
been taken for its development. Sources
said neither the Tourism Department nor the State Archaeology have shown any
interest to tap the potential of this shrine and develop it into a centre of