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Kichakeshwari Temple Khiching

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The Kichakeshwari Temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Maa Chamunda and is located in Khiching, the ancient capital of the Bhanja rulers. Maa Kichakeshwari temple has become one of the most well-known landmarks in the princely state of Mayurbhanj.

Maa Kichakeswari, the presiding deity, is the adhisthatri Devi, or the state goddess of Mayurbhanj. The temple was built between the years 920 and 925 AD; it was reconstructed in 1934 by Maharaja Pratap Chandra Bhanjadeo for Rs. 85 thousand because it had fallen into disrepair after falling into the hands of Vandals.

Legend of Kichakeshwari Temple

According to legends, Khiching had a group of eight temples dedicated to Lord Shiva once upon a time. Even today, the lingams of the seven temples can be seen. Today, three ancient temples dedicated to Kutaitundi, Chandrasekhar, and Kichakeswari can be found in Khiching. Khiching also has the ruins of Viratgarh and Kichakagarh forts, as well as a few stupas and sculptures. The town’s largest temple is dedicated to Goddess Kichakeswari, the family goddess of Mayurbhanj’s ruling chiefs. The chlorite temple is architecturally brilliant and well-carved from its outer surface. This temple is the most magnificent in Khiching.

Kichakeshwari Temple Khiching

The original temple was built in the seventh or eighth century AD and was rebuilt in the twentieth century from the ruins of an earlier temple. The shrine houses a large ten-armed skeletal image of Chamunda, who wears a garland of skulls and sits over a dead body and has striking veins, ribs, and a sunken belly. The original portions of the temple still have the Parasvadevatas, Chaitya arches, amorous couples, scroll works, and arabesques. The temple’s style is similar to that of Bhubaneswar’s Brahmesvara and Lingaraj temples.

History of Kichakeshwari Temple

The town’s largest temple is dedicated to Goddess Kichakeswari, the family goddess of the ruling chiefs of Mayurbhanj. The Goddess Kiscakeshwari was not only the Bhanj dynasty’s ishtadevata but also the state deity. The original Kichakeshwari Temple was built in the 7th or 8th century, with repairs made throughout the centuries.

The architectural and sculptural ruins discovered at this site indicate that it was a major centre of civilization between the eighth and twelfth centuries AD. This is the most important historical and tourist attraction in the Mayurbhanj district.

Kichakeshwari Temple Khiching

The ruins of Khiching’s two fortified palaces are worth seeing. Viratgarh, on the river Khairabandhan, has the largest fort. The Kichakagarh Fort is named after a well-known Mahabharata character. They were most likely the Bhanja rulers’ royal residences. The brick remains, as well as pottery, terracotta figurines, stone images, beads, gold pieces, and seals, were discovered at the Viratgarh excavation site.

Kichakeshwari Temple Khiching

The discovery of a Kushana coin dates the region’s history to the 2nd century AD. Chaula Kunji has 14 pillars, four of which are large and ten of which are small but all are monoliths. This location is southwest of the current Khiching temple.

The architecture of Kichakeshwari Temple

The chlorite temple is architecturally brilliant and beautifully carved from the outside. This temple is one of the most impressive examples of Kalinga architecture. The temple’s style is similar to that of the Brahmeshwara and Lingaraj temples in Bhubaneswar. The temple is 100 feet tall and 1,764 square feet in size.

Kichakeshwari Temple Khiching

The original temple was built in the seventh or eighth centuries and was in disrepair due to vandalism. Maharaja Pratap Chandra Bhanj Deo, the last ruler of the Princely State of Mayurbhanj, was appalled by its state. He rehabilitated and rebuilt the temple in 1934, spending approximately Rs. 85,000 and taking care not to disturb the original sculptures of Parasvadevatas, Chaitya arches, amorous couples, scroll works, and arabesques, all of which can still be seen in the temple’s original portions.

Kichakeshwari Temple Khiching

The temple is constructed of black chlorite, faces east, has a rekha vimana, and stands on a 1.20-meter-high platform. The interior is one-roomed, with the Goddess deity present and worshipped. The temple’s exteriors are ornately decorated with magnificent sculptors such as nayakas, naga-nagin, Ganesha, Kirtimukha, Khakharamundi, and other divine gods and goddesses.

The massive pillars carved with Nagin are a unique feature of this temple. Inside the complex, there is a well-preserved brick structure known as Itamundhi.

Facts about Kichakeshwari Temple

  • Kichakeshwari Temple is situated at Khiching village in Mayurbhanj and is 145 km distance from Baripada town.
  • A large ten-armed fearsome skeletal image of Chamunda-Kali with striking veins, ribs, and sunken belly, wearing a garland of skulls and seated over a dead body can be found in the shrine.
  • A museum associated with the temple can be found within the Kichakeshwari Temple complex. The Khiching Museum is the state of Odisha’s second oldest museum.
  • The museum displays life-size excavated idols of Durga, Ganesha, Parsvanatha, Tara, Parvati, Ardhanageswar, Vaishnavi, Nandi, Kartikeya, Avalokiteswar, Dhyani Buddha, Mahishasuramardini, Uma, Maheshwara, and female devotees.
  • Several images of gods and goddesses, including images of Buddha, were discovered during the Archaeological Survey of India excavations in 1908. These are kept in a museum within the temple compound, which was built in 1922 by Maharaja Purna Chandra Bhanjdeo.
  • The Kichakeshwari Temple faces east and features a rekha-vimana that stands a metre above an elevated podium.
  • There is also a massive pillar carved with the shapes of the Naga and Nagins, which are said to be the temple’s unique architectural domains.
  • There are several villages close to Khiching, including Naupana, Salabana, Sukruli, Kichakagada, and Viratagada.

Famous Festivals In Kichakeshwari Temple

Millions of people visit this temple yearly to celebrate all of the festivals held here. Some major festivals held here are

  • Durga Puja. (Winter) – Devotees celebrate Navaratri at this temple in the month of Ashwin (Sep-Oct) and celebrate the triumph of the Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon (Mahishasura).
  • Navaratri. (Summer) – They celebrate other Navaratri in the fortnight of the Chaitra (March-April). Every nine days they worship Navadurga (nine Durgas).
  • Diwali – Diwali is one of the most admired and auspicious festivals in the town. A very famous Mela (fair) is conducted near the temple every year.
  • MahaShivratri – Mahashivratri, “The Great Night of Shiva” is the most significant event in India’s Hindu calendar.

Best Time to Visit Airavatesvara Temple

This place is very heavenly and spiritual, and you can visit it all year. However, the best time to visit this temple is during the monsoon and winter seasons. During the monsoon season, this location receives moderate to heavy rainfall, making it appear heavenly with its greenery and bringing freshness elsewhere.

How to Reach Kichakeshwari Temple

By Air: The nearest airport is Biju Patnaik International Airport, which is approximately 245 kilometres away from Baripada Khiching Temple.

By Rail: The nearest railway station is Keonjhar, which is about 45 kilometres away from Khiching Temple.

By Road: The nearest bus stop is Chadhaibhol Bus Stand, which is approximately 16 kilometres from Kichakeswari Temple.

Also, Read –  Kali Bari Ahmedabad

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Closed

Sunday 5 AM - 10 PM
Saturday 5 AM - 10 PM
Monday 5 AM - 10 PM
Tuesday 5 AM - 10 PM
Wednesday 5 AM - 10 PM
Thursday 5 AM - 10 PM
Friday 5 AM - 10 PM
Address: Maa kichakeshwari Temple, Khiching, Odisha, India
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Closed

Sunday 5 AM - 10 PM
Saturday 5 AM - 10 PM
Monday 5 AM - 10 PM
Tuesday 5 AM - 10 PM
Wednesday 5 AM - 10 PM
Thursday 5 AM - 10 PM
Friday 5 AM - 10 PM
Address: Maa kichakeshwari Temple, Khiching, Odisha, India