Dhabaleswar is popular for the temple of Lord Shiva that stands on a hillock in the middle of river Mahanadi. Located in an island on the river near Mancheswar village of Athagarh block, 37 km from Cuttack city, the temple is embellished with stone carvings that date back to the early 10th and 11th century. It is said King Purusottam Dev established the temple in the middle of river Mahanadi so that his queen Padmavati could worship Shiva. However, the historians are silent over the exact timing of its establishment. According to old scriptures, this sacred place was known as Hariharpitha.
Far away from the madding crowd, the Dhabaleswar temple, both scenic and enchanting, is nestled amidst the natural environment. Here 'Bada Osha' is considered the most auspicious of festivals. It draws devotees in lakhs and is celebrated with religious fervor. 'Bada Osha' is observed just a day before Kartika Purnima in November. The added attraction to the shrine is the country's longest suspension bridge which connects the island to the mainland. Visitors can reach Dhabaleswar from Cuttack by using boats and ferries. They can also take the foot-over bridge route to reach the temple by paying a nominal fee.