Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in Odisha (Orissa) State -1

Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in Odisha (Orissa) State

Bhadrakali Temple, Aharapada

Bhadrakali Temple is located in the outskirts of the revenue village Aharapada which is at a distance of 8 km away from Bhadrak town in the south- west direction.The popular belief is that the name of the Town has been derived from the name of the deity.

The Goddess

The statue of Goddess is of black granite and is seated in lotus posture on a lion. The temple remains open for visitors and devotees everyday from 6.30 am to 1pm and again from 3pm to 9.30 pm.As per the nomenclature of the goddess one tends to believe that it is the goddess Kali who is being worshiped in this Bhadrakali Pitha. However, since the deity is seated on a lion, one school of thought has opined that the goddess can be no other than the goddess Durga.According to legends originally Bhadrakali was worshiped inside a cave in the Meghasana hill of Mayurbhanj district by a sage named Tapasa Rushi. After the death of the sage, one of his pupil namely Bhadranatha brought the goddess to Bhunyamahalla of Bhadrak.To protect the deity from Kalapahad,she was again transferred to present place by the Dikshits.Mostly during Vijaya Dashami and Deepavali crowds gather for seeking blessings of benevolent mother.


 Charchika Temple, Banki, Odisha

Charchika Temple is one of the oldest Shakta places in Orissa. The presiding deity is an eight-armed goddess Chamunda, locally known as Maa Charchika Devi. She is seated on a prostrate human body and wearing a garland of human skulls. She displays khadga, shula, katari and varadamudra in her four right hands whereas the four left hands represent severed head, blood-cup, ‘’damru’’ and leaving a finger of the remaining hand soaked in blood. This temple is situated on the top a small hillock Ruchika Parvata on the bed of the Renuka river in the small town of Banki in Cuttack district of Orissa.

The present temple was reconstructed in the 19th century. But the remarkable point is the enshrining deity Maa Charchika on iconographical point of view can be assigned to the 9th – 10th centuries A.D. i.e. Bhaumakara rule in Orissa. It is believed that the Charchika idol was created by Parashurama. The temple has a pidha vimana, jagamohana and a wooden mandapa known as "sunyavahini mandapa" of impoverished Kalingan order. Stone is used for the construction of the temple and the entire surface is thickly lime plastered and white washed. The ceiling of the mandapa is made of wood whereas the pillars are in stone. The ceiling of the mandapa is profusely carved and painted. The wooden ceiling of the mandpa is relieved with episodes from Bhagavata Purana with intervening decoration of animals and birds like - elephant, duck, parrot, peacock, etc; floral motifs, lotus medallions, scroll and jali works, animal hunting, horse rider, gaja-vidalas, makaramukha,mithuna and maithuna images. Besides, the parsvadevata niches enshrine four-armed Chamunda, four-armed Mahisasuramardini Durga and an eight-armed Chamunda on the north, west and southern side respectively.
The Renuka river was recreated by the flood of 1982. It's believed that one devotee who worshiped Maa Charchika after pleasing her took away all ornaments of Maa Charchika and build a house where River Renuka is currently flowing. As Maa Charchika was not happy so she created this River Renuka to punish him and to make him home less. This temple is situated in the heart of Banki. It's good to visit the temple at the time of Durga Puja, a Hindu festival in the month of October thousands of devotee used to come to get the blessing. Kumar Purnima a Hindu festival celebrated 5 days after Dusshera is very famous here.  
One more Temple of Maa Charchika is at Mathura Near River Yamuna


Bhagabati Temple, Banapur, Odisha


The temple of the goddess Bhagabati, the presiding deity of the town Banapur, Kodhaput dist Odisha has earned celebrity as a centre of religious activities. Once Banapur was the capital of the Sailodhvaba dynasty, responsible for the construction of the early group of temples at Bhubaneswar. The large number of Buddhist images discovered at Banapur relate the place to the Vajrayana cult of Buddhism.

Animal Sacrifice

On 5 October 2010 the Orissa High Court has directed the state government to make sure that animal sacrifices are not conducted at the temple during the Dussehra celebration. At the Banapur Bhagabati temple such strict direction from the Orissa High Court was not admitted. Due to this the Khurda district administration has imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code on the temple in order to prevent the animal killing and sacrifices in the temple premise.
It has been a tradition to serve the goddess with animal sacrifices during the Dussehra celebrations but after the Orissa High Court ruling, eight platoons of police force have been deployed at the temple in order to maintain law and order.  At the same time Maa Bhagbati Parampara Surakhya Mancha, a local organization supporting the traditional rituals, has decided to protest against the district administration and declared a bandh, including a hunger strike.
On 22 October 2010 the temple opened again after consecration by a group of Brahmins from Govardhana matha, Puri.


Bhattarika Temple, Odisha

Bhattarika Temple, located in sasanga village, baramba, Athgarh, Cuttack District, India is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Maa Bhattarika worshipped as a manifestation of Shakti. The temple is situated on the banks of the River Mahanadi. As per Puranic tradition Parasuram facing certain defeat at the hands of Saharasjuna prayed to Durga who appeared on this spot to impart her divine power to the aid of Parashuram
Shakta Pitha Bhattarika of Badamba, in the district of Cuttack, is one of the notable holy place of Orissa, India. This sacred pitha is associated with Devi Bhattarika. The river Mahanadi the longest river of Orissa flows in the side of the temple of the Bhattarika. The river is deep here. In the foot of the Ratnagiri hill temple of Bhattarika is located. River Mahanadi, Ratnagirihill, temple of Bhattarika, and famous places like Narayana, Nilamadhava, Vindhyavasini, Simhanath attract thousands of Pilgrims, devotees and tourists.Near MMA Mahakali temple in Dasharathi pur G.P (kharoda)holi place in baramba.

Bhattarika, at the foot of the Ratnagiri Mountains, is a temple dedicated to the Mother Goddess. An interesting myth adds a colorful hue to the background of the Temple. In a war between Sahsarasjuna and Parasuram (an avatar of Lord Nayrayan), it was Saharasjuna who emerged victories in the first round. Parasuram not to be out done appealed to the Mother Goddess by mediating on a stone where he imaged the Goddess. The Devi pleased with his painstaking appeal imparted her Shakti to him Parasuram rejuvenated with the divine power of the Goddess beaten Sahasrajuna and from then on the place where the Goddess appeared came to be known as Bhattarika.

The Temple is said to have been built between the 6th century B.C. to the 16th century B.C. The major festivals celebrated at Bhattarika are Pana Sankranti in the month of Chaitra (April) Akshaya Trutiya in the month of Baisakh (May) and Dussehra in the month of October.

Surrounded by wonderful mountains collectively known as the Ratnagiri Mountains, Bhattarika blends harmoniously with nature. The Mahanadi, which flows in front of the temple, glistens like a shining slithery silver of lighting. Birds cooing and the surreal sunset make this place a magical space touched with the Divine.

Bhattarika lies in the Athgarh sub-division Cuttak district between Cuttack and Narsingpur. On the main road from the Gopalpur chowks. After 6 kms from here southwards, you will reach Sasanga Gram near the Ratnagiri Mountains.
Indeed, when one arrives at Bhattarika one forests the material world our soul surges forward in communion with nature and the Divine.


Biraja Temple, Jaipur, Odisha

The Biraja Temple or Viraja Kshetra, (Devnagari:विरजा क्षेत्र) Oddyana Peetha, (Devnagari:ओड़्याण पीठ, Oriya:  is one of the ancient Hindu temples located in the Jajpur district of Odisha, India. This present temple was built in 13th century. It is situated in the Jajpur township which is nearly 125 KM north from Bhubaneswar. The main idol is Devi Durga who is worshiped by the name Viraja.The idol is having two hands(dwibhuja),in one hand she pierces the chest of Mahishasura with a spear and in other hand she pulls the tail of the Mahishasura.The Durga idol is standing on Lion in one leg and other leg is on Mahishasura chest.The Mahishasura is depicted as a Buffalo, not as regular human demon.The crown of Devi has symbol of Ganesha, Crescent moon and a Shivalinga.The temple covers a large area, and it has several Shiva linga and other deities. Jajpur is also known as Viraja Kshetra or Biraja Peetha.According to Skanda Purana,utkala khanda it washes all rajo guna of pilgrims.So called as Viraja or Biraja kshetra.

Viraja Temple in Tantra

The Brahmayamala Tantra has a hymn "Aadya Stotra" dedicated to Goddess Shakti. In that hymn, it is stated that Vimala is the shakti in Purusottama Kshetra and Viraja is the shakti worshipped in Odra Desha, which is latter known as Odisha.
"रामेश्वरी सेतुबन्धे विमला पुरुषोत्तमे
विरजा ओड्रदेशे च कामाक्ष्या नीलपर्वते ॥" "[आद्या स्तोत्र-ब्रह्म यामल तन्त्रम्]"
It is believed that sati's navel also fell here as Tantra Chudamani says that the navel fell in Utkala which is called Viraja kshetra.Adi Shankara in his Ashtadasha shakti peetha stuti describes this peetha as Oddiyana Peetha and the goddess as Girija.Here is the verse from his Ashtadasha shakti peetham.  
"उज्जनिन्यां महाकाली पीठिकायां पुरुहुतिका
ओड़्याणे गिरिजा देवी माणिक्य दक्ष वाटिके॥"
As per many Tantra books, the Oddiyana Peetha (Devnagari:ओड़्याण पीठ) is located in eastern India near Vaitarani river. The place signifies its name. Oddiyana is an ornament worn by women around navel, as the navel fell down here the area surrounding the peetha is called Oddyana Peetha, and the land is known as Odra Desha.

Rituals and Festivals

Main ritual in this temple is Sharadiya Durga Puja which starts from Krishna Paksha Ashtami night which falls before Mahalaya and ends on Ashwin Shukla Paksha Navami. The total Puja continues for 16 days, which is called Shodasha dinatatmika Puja. The Rath Yatra of Devi's utsava murty is done during Mahashtami and Mahanavami. The Ratha(Chariot Festival) is named as Simhadhwaja (having the flag symbol of Lion). During the transition of lunar phase from Shukla Ashtami to Shukla Navami the special animal Sacrifice is performed which is called Bali Daanam. The day of Dussehra is celebrated as Aparajita Puja. Other festivals include Devi's own Nakshatra, Shravana which falls on Amavasya of Purnimanta month of Maagha, Prathamastami, Pana Sankranti, Raja Parva and Navanna.
The daily worship to devi is done as depicted in Tantra and Agama. She is worshipped as Mahishasuramardini by Brahmins of Jajpur.

Nabhi Gaya

It is heard from Puranas that Gaya is having mouth of Gayasura (Shirogaya) & the navel is in Jajpur inside Biraja Temple. Whereas padagaya (legs of gayasura) is in Pithapuram of Andhra Pradesh. God Brahma did 10 Ashwamedha yajna here on the bank of Baitarani Or Vaitarani. It is called as Dakshina(south) Vedi of Brahma. Others being Gaya(east); Kurukshetra, (north); Pushkar, (west) & Prayag Allahbad, (centre) according to Vamana Purana. Many pilgrims gather here for Shraaddha during Mahalaya. A Holy dip commenses in Vaitarani river on the day of Chaitra krishna chaturdasi called as Varuni Snan Yoga. It becomes auspicious if the day is saturday and the star is Shatabhisha. The nearest rail head is Byasanagar or jajpur keonjhar road on chennai-howrah railway.

Biraja Ketra Jajpur, the sacred abode of Goddess Biraja registered its importance as a prominent seat of Śakti   worship since the prehistoric period. Goddess Biraja, the presiding deity of Jajpur has glorious antiquity. She is perhaps the most ancient Goddess, the Śakti or primordial energy incarnate of the Hindu pantheon, Goddess Biraja is worshipped and adored not only as Ādiśkti or primeval power but forms an integral part of the social, religious and cultural life of the people of Odisha.
The glory of Goddess Biraja has been endorsed in various texts starting from the age of the epics, purā
as, Sthalamahātmyas and Tantric works. The Biraja Ketra mahātmya, which is considered as a part of Brahmaṇḍa purāa enumerates the origin of Goddess Biraja. It states that the days of yoke Brahma (the creator of the Universe) performed a yajna or Vedic sacrifice on the bank of the sacred river Vaitaraī. At the invocation of Brahma, Goddess Parvati or the AdiŚakti   emerged out of the Garhapatya fire of the sacrificial pit. Being move by her prayers, Parvati instructed Brahma to name her as Biraja. She appeared in the form of two armed Mahiāmardinī tramphing on the neck of the theriomorphic form of the buffalo demon and piercing the trident into his body politic. She was entreated by Brahma to glorify the Ketra by her presence as the devine consort of Siva. When she occupied her position the circum centre of the triangular Ketra (region), Nine Durgās, Eight Candikās, and Sixty four Yoginīs were created from her mind and their pervading presence made this land a unique Śakti   Ketra  in the country.
The perimeter of the Biraja K
etra is triangular in form. The apex of the triangular region or the extreme points extends in the western, South-eastern and North-eastern by direction and those corners are guarded by the Siva lingams like Uttarsvar/Vilvesvara, Varuesvara and Kilalatesvara respectively. They are regarded as the guardian deities of the Ketra. The presiding deity goddess Biraja adored the cicumcentre of this triangular region.
In the medieval period almost all the ancient Tirthas were converted into pī
has in the name of some Gods or Goddesses and so became the abode of Goddess Biraja. Therefore Biraja Tīrtha and Biraja Ketra became famous as Biraja pīha. Pīha has a Tantric commotation of a place where an sādhaka achieves his goal through penance, austerities and Tantric rites near the presiding Goddess, from the Daka-yajna-vidhvamsana-prakaraa of Kālikā purāa, it is known that the places where the limbs of Sati, the consort of Siva fell were called Śākta-pīhas, or the holy seats of mother Goddess. According to this tradition the ‘Navel’ of sati fell at Biraja Ketra and this place became known as Nabhipīha or Nābhigayā in the tantric tradition. So Goddess Biraja is regarded as the pīha Devi of this Śakti pīha.
The tantric texts contain the names of such pī
has with pīha Devis. The Biraja pīha is mentioned in the ‘pīhaniraya’ which mentions fifty one pīhas along with pīha Devis and Bhairavas accompanying them. From the tantric texts it appears that Biraja pīha was a great śākta pīha and goddess Biraja has been adored as the pīha Devi of Odisha with lord Jagannāth as Bhairava, Tantric texts like Hevajra tantra, Kālikā purāa, Rudrayāmaa Tantra, Aṣṭadasa pīha, Kubjikā Tantra, Tantrasāra, Jñānārava tantra, Tantra Cudāmai, Uddīyāa Tantra, Candīmangaa, Brihannila Tantra, praatosiī tantra etc, mention about Biraja pīha too. The Buddhist work named Dahadhatuvamsa mentions about Biraja pīha also.
According to puranic tradition Goddess Biraja is described as ‘Pit
īkanya’ or the mental child of the ancestral mānas, keeping the line of this tradition Vāyu purāa and viṣṇu purāa state that Biraja is the mental child of Ājyapā pitgaas i.e.-

“Ājyapā nāma pitarah karddamasya prajāpateh
Samutpannasya pulahādutpanna
ṣṭasya vai punah
wetesuvartante kāmagesu bihangamāh
Etanvaisyaganāh śrāddhe Bhāvayanti phalārthinah
Etesām Mānasi kanyā Biraja Nāma Vis
Yayateh janani sadhvi patni sā Nahu
asya tu “

This kind of description is found in Brahma purā
a and Linga purāa etc. therefore the Hindu devotees from various parts of the  country come over here to offer piṇḍas or oblations to their ancestors in the mtyunjaya Tīrtha near Nābhigayā and have a Darsan of Goddess Biraja.


Cuttack Chandi Temple, Odisha

The Katak Chandi Temple   is an ancient temple dedicated to the Goddess Chandi, the presiding deity of Cuttack, Orissa. The temple is located nearby the banks of the Mahanadi River. It is famous for the annual Durga Puja and Kali Puja festivals. The Durga Puja festivities are prominent in Maa Katak Chandi temple which takes place for 16 days stating from dark fortnight of Ashwina Krishna Ashtami till Ashwina shukla navami and Vijayadashami. The goddess popularly called as Maa Katak Chandi, sits and rules on the heart of the ancient city.She has four hands holding Paasha(noose),Ankusha(goad),gestures dispelling fear(Abhaya),and granting boon(Varada). She is worshiped as Bhuvaneshvari (the queen of universe) by Sevayatas belonging to Utkala Brahmins everyday. Maa Chandi is worshipped in various incarnations of Durga during the puja. In Cuttack, people strongly believe Maa Katak Chandi as 'The Living Goddess'.

Legend behind founding

According to legend, the land where the temple is located once lay fallow. Hansa Panda, the Purohit of the then King of Kanika, used to graze his cattle on the land. One day he felt tired and took rest on a heap of dry soil. While resting, he experienced an unusual feeling within. The same night, Goddess Chandi appeared in his dream and requested him to bring her out of the land. The next day he went to the King and told him about the dream he had. With the help of the king, Hansa Panda dug the land. It is said that forty bullock carts of red sindoor came out while digging after which emerged the Deity of Maa Katak Chandi.The present temple marks the spot. The temple of Maa Katak Chandi, the presiding deity of the city is visited by hundreds of devotees everyday. The image of the deity is older than the temple.
The present piece of land, where the holy temple is located, was lying fallow before. Late Sri Hansa Panda, who happens to be the Purohit of the then King of Kanika, used to graze cattle’s and sheep’s in the land. One day Sri Panda was feeling tired and took rest on a heap of dry mud present there. While taking rest,he experienced a strange unusual feeling within himself. Surprisingly on the same night, The Goddess “Chandi” appeared in his dream and requested him to take her out of the land.
There after he went to the King and told everything about the strange experience he had that night. With the help of the king, Late Hansa Panda dug up the same piece of land. It is being said that around forty numbers bullock carts of Red Sindoor came out while digging and then emerged The Deity of Maa Katak Chandi. Then the temple was built on the same land. Here in Cuttack, people strongly believe Maa Katak Chandi as The Living Goddess. History
Late Sri Hansa Panda started worshiping the Deity with utmost Niti, Nistha, and Sradha. As per the scriptures, Goddess Chandi has four hands, known as Pasa, Ankusha, Abhaya, Bara. She is worshipped as Bhubaneswari while chanting Bhubaneswari Mantra.
After Late Sri Hansa Panda, his only son Late Sri Lakhana Panda started worshipping The Goddess in the same process and procedure. He was blessed with four daughters, named Champa, Tulasi, Mali and Malati. Those daughters were also helping their father Late Sri Lakhana Panda, in the rituals (Seva Puja) of the Deity. After praying so many days, Late Lakhana panda always prayed Maa Chandi to have a son and then he was blessed with a son, named Sri Dayanidhi Panda, who also followed the footprint of his predecessors. The temple came to lime light during Sri Dayanidhi Panda. Number of devotees increased during his period. He has six sons, who are presently performing rituals (seva puja) of deity. They are namely Sri Narayan Panda, Sri Narahari Panda, Sri Somnath Panda, Sri Chakradhar Panda, Sri Loknath Panda and Sri Ratnakar Panda.
The above heritary sevaks along with their fourteen sons are presently performing the Seva Puja (Rituals) in the Temple. The fourteen sons are Jagabandhu, Dinabandhu, Bikram, Gopal, Sarat Kumar, Sukhadeva, Bhagadeba, Manoj, Trilochan, Susant, Biswaranjan, Ramachandra, Pramod, Ranjit.
Present Status of the Land of the Deity:
Raja Sailendra Narayan Bhanjadeo of Kanika was declared as Heritary Trustee by High Court, while Dayanidhi Panda’s family vested as Heritary Sevak.
Again, the Honorable High Court gave the order to frame a scheme for the temple. Now the institution of Kataka Chandi is managed under the said scheme. The management board comprises reputed persons of the locality along with top government officials for the management of the holy institution. One Executive Officer has been appointed by the commissioner to look after the functions of the temple.

Durga Temple, Baideshwar, Odisha

The temple is dedicated to Durga and present in Cuttack district in Baideshwar,near Kalapathara chowk on the way to Banki.


The temple has a Khakhara vimana of early Kalingan order during Bhaumakara rule. The survey has assigned the temple to 8th century AD. It is a living temple, enshrining an image of eight-armed Mahishamardini Durga. Mahisasuramardini Durga, Parvati, Aja-ekapada Bhairava and Ganesh images are found. Similar construction are found in Vaital Deula, and Varahi Deula, Chaurasi. The temple is built with Ochre colour sandstone is used for the temple and laterite for the compound wall.


Durga Temple, Motia, Odisha

The temple of Durga is located near Krushnaprasad village in an area called Nua Satanga and Motia in Cuttack district, Orissa, India. The temple is dedicated to Mahishamardini and Chamunda.
The central icon which is worshipped is a four-handed goddess slaying Mahishasura. In her upper two hands she holds Shankha and Chakra, while the lower hands have a trident and a hand on the buffalo-headed demon. Several sculptures were discovered by the Archaeological Survey of India here which demonstrated that the shrine belongs to the era of Somavamsi rule during the 10th century. An image of Surya is worshipped here.


It can be approached from Phulnakhara square near Niali in Cuttack district. Regular bus service runs from Bhubaneswar to Niali, which is 65 kilometres (40 mi) away


Ghanteswari Temple, Odisha

Maa Ghanteshwari temple is a temple in the district of Sambalpur, the western region of Orissa, India. As the name suggests there are bells everywhere People offer bells to goddess Ghanteswari or the Deity of Bells, after fulfillment of their wishes. A large number of pilgrims from across the state visit the temple. It is known as the 'lighthouse without light', built by the early sailors, for whom the bells served as warning against heavy winds. The special significance of this place lies in the great number of small bells hanging all around.
Maa Ghanteshwari Temple is situated 33 kilometres (21 mi) southwest of the district capital Sambalpur on the bank of Mahanadi River. The Chipilima Hydro Powerplant is located near the temple on the same riverbank.
 Sambalpur serves as the gateway to the bewitching western zone of Odisha,  abounding  in  lush   green  forests,  colorful wild-life,  exquisite  array  of hills, waterfalls  of  streaming pearls, rich tribal life and culture, folk songs and dances and a variety of  monuments.  Sambalpur has its own contribution to the cultural  formentation  of  our  country.   
                Sambalpur  is famous for its handloom textile works which has earned  international fame in recent times.  The textiles for their unique  pattern, design and texture commonly come under the patent of Sambalpuri . It has also got some rare places and items which are  somewhat  unique in nature.  
Nature has been bounteous to Sambalpur in more than one way. The wide diversity of flora and fauna in and around Sambalpur is an eloquent testimony to Mother Nature’s generosity.
Sambalpur is endowed with much natural splendour unspoilt by modern Tourism. It is fascinating to be in the midst of nature in all its glory. There are many places of interest


Kakatpur Mangala Temple, Odisha

Maa Mangala Temple   is a Mangala temple in Kakatpur, Puri, in the state of Orissa on the eastern coast of India.

 Temple architecture & Cult

The temple is built in typical Kalinga style and is a major pilgrimage for devotees of Shakti cult. Pilgrims frequent the temple seeking boons from Maa Mangala. There is a bed made of solid stone on which it is said Maa Mangala rests after touring the entire universe everyday. As if to attest to this, the bed looks worn out in just the same way it would if it were in use for centuries.


Evolution of the name of the deity as 'Kakatpur Mangala' hails from a legend believed by the locals of Kakatpur village. Goddess Managla kept herself hidden under the deep water of river Prachi. Once a boatman was sailing his boat across river Prachi. At that time the river was outpouring and flooded so he was unable to sail his boat to the middle of the river. He spent whole day and night but not able to sail his boat and during early morning, before the dawn, Goddess Mangala came in his dream and asked him to recover her from the water and to establish her in nearby Mangalapur village. The boatman dived into the water and able to find the deity from the bed of the river. Then as per the direction of the Goddess he established the figure of the deity in a temple in Mangalapur village. After this the boatman saw a black crow dived into the water and did not come out of the water for hours and days, the crow detained inside the water of river Prachi exactly in the same place from where he recovered the figure of Goddess Mangala. In local oriya language 'Crow' means 'Kaka' and 'Detained' means 'Atka'. So by combining the two words it becomes 'Kaka-Atka', so during the course of time the Mangalapur village is known as 'Kakata' (Kaka-Atka) pur and the Goddess is known as Kakatpur Mangala.That time before 500years ago Local Jamindar Roychudamoni family has made the mandir at Kakatpur with all the Sebak arrangement. This Mandir was Made by Panchanan Mitra(Roychudamoni) on 1548A:D. This goddess is very famous with all the qualities of peace, power,hapiness,love,purity, knowledge & truth.  

Association with Lord Jagannath

Every twelve years when the Idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are replaced during the Nabakalevara rite, Priests of the temple in Puri pray to Maa Mangala in the Kakatpur temple to give them divine guidance. The goddess appears in their dreams and reveals the location of the three divine Daru Bramha trees from which idols of the deities are made   "Maa Sarba Mangala" A book which contains real story of Maa Mangala and the spiritual connection between the Goddess and lord Jagannath (Puri). The 'Bhaktas' who really want to acquire knowledge on lord Jagannath and Goddess Maa Sarba Mangala must read the book which is written by Raghunandan Panda, Sebak of Maa Sarba Mangala. He was a teacher and belongs to Kakatpur. He has spent almost 25 years from his busy schedule in doing research on Kakatpur Mangala. He has shared all his experience in the form of his book which will enlighten the whole story. The book is available only in Kakatpur.


Distance from Bhubaneshwar 65 Kms

Distance from Puri 50 Kms.


Kalijai Temple, Odisha

Kalijai Temple is located on an island in Chilika Lake. It is considered to be the abode of the Goddess Kalijai. Highly revered by the local populace, the deity has been venerated in the local folklores and legends. The island provides an excellent destination for pilgrims as well as tourists. Every year in January, a huge gala fair is held during the festival of Makar Sankranti


Legend has it that a newly married girl (named Jaai) along with her father was going to meet with her husband. As her in-law's house was on an island in Chilika Lake they had to take a boat to ferry them across the lake. Orissa's coast is very prone to Cyclones and during this boat trip they encountered with a severe Cyclone, as a result their boat capsized in the Chilika Lake. All the boatmen and her father survived this event except for the girl Jaai. They search for her but were unable to locate her. After this accidental death of that newly wed girl, she became the Goddess of people residing nearby and till now, she is worshiped as an Amsa of Kali. And, this is how the place got its name.

Chilika Lake

Chilka Lake (Chilika Lake) is a brackish water lagoon, spread over the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Odisha state on the east coast of India, at the mouth of the Daya River, flowing into the Bay of Bengal, covering an area of over 1,100 km2. It is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest lagoon in the World
It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent. The lake is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals.
The lake is an ecosystem with large fishery resources. It sustains more than 150,000 fisher–folk living in 132 villages on the shore and islands
The lagoon hosts over 160 species of birds in the peak migratory season. Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and southeast Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here. These birds travel great distances; migratory birds probably follow much longer routes than the straight lines, possibly up to 12,000 km, to reach Chilika Lake.
In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
According to a survey, 45 percent of the birds are terrestrial in nature, 32 percent are waterfowl, and 23 percent are waders. The lagoon is also home to 14 types of raptors. Around 152 rare and endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins have also been reported. Plus, the lagoon supports about 37 species of reptiles and amphibians.
The highly productive chilika lagoon eco-system with its rich fishery resources sustains the livelihood for many fisher men who live in and near the Lagoon. The water spread area of the Lagoon ranges between 1165 to 906 km2 during the monsoon and summer respectively. A 32 km long, narrow, outer channel connects the lagoon to the Bay of Bengal, near the village Motto, recently a new mouth was opened by CDA which has brought a new lease of life to the lagoon.
Microalgae, marine seaweeds, sea grasses, fishes and crabs also flourish in the brackish water of the Chilika Lagoon.


Some ancient texts say the southern sector of Chilika was a major harbour for maritime commerce, when Kharavela (IAST: Khāravela, Devanagari: खारवेल, Oriya: ଖାରବେଳ) (c. 209 BCE–after 170 BCE), the King of Kalinga, was known as Lord of the Sea.
Ptolemy (150 CE), the Greek geographer, referred to Palur as the port Paloura, located close to the point of departure situated outside of the southern tip of the lake at Kantiagarh, from where ships bound for different parts of Southeast Asia sailed. After 639, the Chinese Pilgrims Fa-Hien and Hiuen-Tsang mention a famous port "Che-li-ta-loChing" near the shore of the ocean which was a thoroughfare and resting place for sea-going traders and strangers from distant lands. This port was located at ‘Chhatragarh’ on the banks of Chilika Lake.
A fourth century legend, often told to explain the birth of Chilika, states that the pirate king, Raktabahhu, planned to attack Puri with a huge fleet of ships. To avoid detection, he stealthily anchored out of sight, off the mouth to the sea. The deception was revealed by ships' refuse floating to the shore, thus warning the town’s people, who escaped with all their possessions. Raktabahu felt betrayed when he found an abandoned town and directed his fury towards the sea that had betrayed him. The sea parted to let the army march in, then surged back, drowned the army and formed the present lake.
Archeological excavations discovered Seventh century ship anchors and stone memoirs dedicated to battle heroes at a village named Kanas, about 25 km (16 mi) north of Chilika on the banks of Nuna river, which flows into the lake. This gives evidence of an historic naval engagement off the coast.
A 10th century text, the Brahmanda Purana, mentions Chilika Lake as an important centre of trade and commerce, and a shelter for ships sailing to Java, Malaya, Singhala, China and other countries. This suggests that the lake was then deep enough for berthing sea-going ships and had a channel to the sea big enough for loaded trading ships embarking to Southeast Asia.[15][16][17] The villagers around Chilika Lake still observe an annual festival called "Bali Yatra" (Journey to Bali).
In 1803, the British entered the shores of the lake, reached Puri and occupied Odisha with the help of Fateh Muhammed. Fateh Muhammed in turn was rewarded by the British with freehold of the areas of Malud and Parikud, of the present day Garh Krishnaprasad revenue block.
Over the years, Poets including Kabibar Radhanath Ray and Pandit Godavarish Mishra, Freedom fighters and Saints have extolled historicity of the lake as pertinent to its cultural, spiritual and religious aspects.
Gopabandhu Das, a famous Oriya poet, became impatient to see the beauty of the march of colorful sights and sounds of Chilika lagoon while going by train. He asked the speeding train to stop for a moment so that he could enjoy the beauty. It is because of the beauty that arrests him much”.


The lake is of estuarine character in an ephemeral environment. Geological studies indicate that the coastline extended along the western shores of the lake in the Pleistocene era with its northeastern region lying under the sea. That the coastline has moved eastward over the ages is supported by the fact that the nearby Konarak Sun Temple, built originally on the seashore a few hundred years ago, is now about 3 km (2 mi), away from the coast.
The catchment area of Chilika lake has a rock, sand and mud substratum. It contains a wide range of sedimentary particles such as clay, silt, sand, gravel and shell banks but the major part of the catchment area is silt. Around 1.6 million metric tons per year of sediment is deposited in Chilika lake by rivers Daya and several streams.
It is conjectured that a rise in worldwide sea levels over the last 6,000–8,000 years occurred with a pause in the rise of sea level about 7,000 years ago, which could have resulted in the formation of a sandy beach near the coast at the Southern sector. With rise in the sea level, the sand beach grew gradually, progressed seaward to the northeast and formed the spit of Chilika. A fossil unearthed from the southwestern edge of the spit indicates that the lake was formed about 3,500–4,000 years ago. The abrupt change in the direction of the coast north of the lake, strong winds shifting sand to the shore, long shore drift (littoral drift), the presence or absence of strong river and tidal currents in different areas are the reasons attributed for the growth of the spit.
White bands of coral in the southern sector, at a height of 8 m (26 ft), above the present water level, shows that the area was once marine and that the water was much deeper than present.  The chronological development of the outer barrier spit of the lake has been dated by Optically stimulated luminescence studies of minerals. This was done on sixteen samples of the lake bed. The studies indicated doses of between 153 ± 3 mGy and 2.23 ± 0.07 Gy, corresponding to ages from 40 years at the top of the spit to 300 years at the bottom. The youngest ages are consistent with the age of the overlying vegetation. A clearly defined period of >2.5 miles (4.0 km) of barrier construction 40 years ago is identified. Prior to that the deposition rate was relatively constant for 300 years.'"
The ecological richness of the lake is of great value in preserving the genetic diversity because of the multiplicity of its habitat, flora and fauna. (Some are pictured in the photo gallery). The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) surveyed the lake between 1985 and 1988 and identified 800 species of fauna, including many rare, endangered, threatened and vulnerable species, but excluding terrestrial insects.
The rare and threatened animal species identified are green sea turtle (EN), dugong (VU), Irrawaddy dolphin (VU), blackbuck (NT), Spoon billed sandpiper (CR), limbless skink and fishing cat (EN). 24 mammalian species were reported. 37 species of reptiles and amphibians are also reported


Recent surveys revealed an overall 726 species of flowering plants belonging to 496 genera and 120 families. This represents about one –fourth of the vascular plant species of the Odisha state where some 2900 species altogether are found. Fabaceae is the most dominant plant family followed by Poaceae and Cyperaceae. Certain species were found to be characteristic of specific islands. The flora is predominantly of aquatic and sub-aquatic plants. Overall 726 species of flowering plants belonging to 496 genera and 120 families have been recorded. Fabaceae is the predominant plant family followed by Poaceae and Cyperaceae. The species reported are leguminosae, poaceae, and cyperaceae; endemic cassipourea ceylanica; five species of seagrass, and more. Important species identified are:

Major Attractions

Nalaban Island: The 15 km2 Nalaban Island is within the Lagoon and is the core area of the Ramsar designated wetlands. It was declared a bird sanctuary under the Wildlife Protection Act in 1973. It’s the heart of the park where one can seen thousands of birds descending during the migratory season. The island disappears during monsoon season due to inundation, and post-monsoon, the island emerges again.
The vast lake harbours 225 species of fish, a wide variety of phytoplankton, algae and aquatic plants, and also supports over 350 species of non-aquatic plants. The other areas where high concentrations of birds are recorded are Gerasara, Parikud Island, and the western shores of the Northern sector.
Chilka Lake is one of the best bird watching spots in India, and is also popular for fishing and angling.

Other attractions

Puri: This holy city is famous for the late 11th century built Jagannath temple. The other major attraction here is the beach, from where you can witness the glorious sunrise and equally mesmerising sunset. It’s said that a visit to Puri is incomplete without visiting Chilika Lagoon.
The Nirmaljhar Waterfall: This is an ideal place for pitching your picnic tent. The beautiful waterfall is located nearly 12 km from Chilika Lagoon.
Satpada: This place is located at a distance of around 55 km (34 mi) from Puri, on the eastern side of the Chilika Lake This place is surrounded by lagoons from the three sides, which makes this place an amazing tourist spot for nature lover.


The open air and scenic natural flora and fauna of the lake are an attraction for eco-tourism. This is expected to provide a degree of alternate employment to the local community and generate environmental awareness, among local residents as well as visitors, about the conservation and wise use of the lake’s natural resources. The locations within the lake identified for such activity are:
  • Ramba Bay at the southern end of the lake with the group of islands including:
    • The Becon Island, with an architectural conical pillar (to put a light on the top) built by Mr. Snodgrass, the then collector of Ganjam of the East India Company, on a mass of rock in the Rambha Bay near Ghantasila hill. It has scenic water spread surrounded by the Eastern Ghat.
    • The Breakfast Island, pear shaped, known as "Sankuda island", with remnants of a dilapidated bungalow constructed by the King of Kalikote, has rare plants and is full of greenery with appealing flora.
    • Honeymoon Island, 5 km (3 mi) from Rambha Jetty, known as Barkuda Island, with clear waters has abundant red and green macro algae in the bed is also known for the limbless lizard, an endemic species found here.
  • Somolo and Dumkudi islands, located in the Central and Southern sectors of the lake, in the backdrop of scenic Khalikote hill range, are inundated remnants of the Eastern Ghats with rich flora and fauna and also known for sighting of Irrawaddy Dolphins.
  • Birds' island, located in the southern sector of the lake has huge exposed hanging rocks, are painted white due to folic acid of the droppings of the birds and is known for rich algal communities and few mangrove species and also migratory birds in winter.
  • Parikud is a group of composite islands in the Garh Krishnaprasad Block for nature lovers and provides an avian spectacle during winter season
  • Kalijai Temple located on an island is considered to be the abode of the Goddess Kalijai.This temple is located at a hill which is surrounded by the blue water bears. Local people of Chilika refer to goddess as the reigning deity of the lagoon
  • Satapada village, at the new mouth of the lake, provides a beautiful view of the Lake and also views of the Dolphins. Hundreds of boats here provide tours of the lake for tourists.
  • Barunkuda, a small island situated near Magarmukh, mouth of the lake, has a temple of Lord Varuna.
  • Nabagraha is an ancient deity located along the outer channel.
  • Chourbar Shiva Temple is located near Alupatna village, along the outer channel.
  • Manikpatna, located on the outer channel has historical evidence of a port which was used for trade with Far East and also has the Bhabakundeswar temple of Lord Shiva, an old Mosque whose entrance door is made of the jaws of the whale.
  • Sand-Bar and Mouth of the Lake is a striking and un-explored stretch of 30 km (20 mi) of empty beach across the sand bar which separates the Lake from the Sea


The lake is well connected by road to Chennai and Kolkata through National Highway No 5. Satpara town on the eastern bank of the lake is about 50 km (30 mi) by road southwest of the city of Puri and at a distance of 100 km (60 mi) from Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha, which is also the nearest airport.
A broad gauge railway line of the South Eastern Railway from Kolkata skirts along the western bank of the lake passing through Balugaon, Chilika and Rambha stations.
Within the lake precincts, Odisha Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (OTDC) and the Revenue Department of the state government offer boat cruises. Private operators also provide country boats on hire to various islands in the lake.
There are OTDC Guest houses at Barkul, Rambha, Satapada & several hotels at Balugaon. Before entering into the Nalbana Bird Sanctuary one has to obtain an entry permit. The entry permit has to be produced at entry/exit points, at check gates as and whenever requested by officials.



Om Tat Sat

(My humble  salutations to the great devotees ,  wikisources  and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )


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