Friday, August 26, 2016

Maa Sureswari Temple - Sonepur - Subarnapur - Odisha

Maa Sureswari Temple:

The temple of Maa Sureswari is the most seasoned Shakti place of worship of Subarnapur. Maa Sureswari is the presiding deity of Subarnapur district. People of this district show their  high  devotional  feeling  towards  Maa Sureswari. Temple of Maa Sureswari is situated in south-west direction of the Sonepur town. Maa Sureswari temple is situated at the left bank of Tel River towards the south-west of the conjunction of Mahanadi and Tel River. 

A six-handed standing image of Maa Kali is worshhipped as Maa Sureswari. The main festival of Maa Sureswari is observed in the time of Dasahara. The "Balijatra" is one of the greatest fair of Maa which is celebrated from the Aswina Amabashya to Purnima for fifteen days. Entire Sonepur town becomes crowded and sounded by the traditional musical instruments. According to a popular legend  Parshuram  had  performed  a  vedic  sacrifice here  and  established  Maa  Sureswari  by  the direction of his mother Renuka. 

The temple side of Maa Sureswari is regarded as Renuka Pitha. The sacrificial altar of Parshuram is known as "Khaulagada". The main gate of the temple faces towards east but Maa Sureswari looks towards north. Seven Ponds are found by the temple side of Sureswari. According to many scholars these ponds were the  fort  moats  of  the  Kalachuri  rulers.  Maa Sureswari was the presiding deity of the fort of Chauhan ruler Achal Singh Deo who was the builder of that historic temple. But after that Maharaja  Biramitra  Singh  Deo  constructed  many images  of  parsvadevatas.  

Maa  Sureswari  is worshipped  in  Vana  Durga  mantra.  In  the parsvadevata niches, there are images of ten-handed  dancing  Durga,  four-handed  Maa  sitting in lalitasana and eight-handed Ganesa all on the Visvapadma  pedestals.  Standing  image  of  Bhairav and  tantric  Buddhist  goddess  named  Tara  are  kept here and there all around the temple. There is a Khaulgada in the temple premises. During the Balijatra, Barua (the priest) smears the soils of Khaulagada in his own body. Then the God enters in the body of the Barua. In a ceremony named "Khaula Phita" in which the soil is collected from the Khaulgada, the Barua collects the soil from the Khaulgada in the midnight of month of Aswina. If the white soils come out from the Khaulagada,it is considered as the good symbol. The red and black colour soil identify sorrow, suffering, illness. It is said by people that a large number of horrses had been sacrifised here in the past. So the soil is poisonous. The soil is  smeared in the body of Barua for entering of God in his body. There is a great faith among people that Maa Sureswari fulfills  the    the  desires  of  the  devotees.  Maa Sureswari  becomes  Dasavesa  from  the  fourth  day of full moon in the month of Aswina. These vesas are  Kali,  Tara,  Sodashi,  Bhubaneswari, Chinnamasta,  Bagala mukhi, Bhairavi, Matangi, Kamala and Dhumabati. Maa Sureswari is well decorated  with  above  vesas  in  the  time  of Dasahara. Maa is also offered prayer in sodasha upachara. The Dasavesa of Maa Sureswari are very attractive and heart touching. Devotees from far and wide come here to see the Dasavesa in the time of Dasahara. On the day of "Nuakhai" the mass festival of western, Arnna Bhoga is first offered to Maa Sureswari. Then the people of Subarnapur district take the Prasada. It is said by  the  people  that  in  every  midnight  Maa Sureswari moves around Sonepur town by horse. People say Maa protects the devotees in time of needs. The temple of Maa Sureswari occupy a great position is Sakti culture. It is one of the well known  ancient  Sakti  pitha  of  Orissa.  Maa Sureswari was the presiding deity of Sonepur royal family. People have great faith on the divine power, love and blessings of Maa Sureswari. So they have been showing devotional respect to Maa  Sureswari.