According to a legend popular in Orissa, long ago, Puri was a centre of Shiva worship. According to this legend, Lord Ramachandra himself installed the Lingam in the Lokanath Temple.
This lingam is always submerged with water, which substantiates the legend that Goddess Ganga flows through the top of the shivalinga as a stream. It can only be seen on Pankodhar Ekadasi, before Shivaratri, when the water is removed from the lingam. On that day, thousands of devotees come for a darshan.