Monday, October 24, 2016

Maa Bhattarika Temple - Badamba - Athagarh - Cuttack - Odisha

Goddess Bhattarika Temple:

Maa or Goddess Bhattarika Temple is located on the Mahanadi River. Shakta Pitha or Shakti Shrine Maa or Goddess Bhattarika of Badamba in the district of Cuttack is one of the notable holy place of Orissa. This sacred pitha is associated with Devi Maa or Goddess Bhattarika. The river Mahanadi the longest river of Orissa flows in the side of the temple of the Maa or Goddess Bhattarika. The river is deep here. In the foot of the Ratnagiri hill temple of Maa or Goddess Bhattarika is located. River Mahanadi, Ratnagiri hill, temple of Maa or Goddess Bhattarika, and famous places like Narayani, Nilamadhava, Vindhyavasini, Simhanath attract thousands of Pilgrims, devotees and tourists.

According to a popular legend this pitha is established by Parsuram and also he carved the image of goddess in the tip of his arrow. In this pitha As per the Puranic tradition, Parashurama, facing certain defeat at the hands of Saharasjuna, prayed to Durga who appeared on this spot to impart her divine power to his aid.. The Goddess became pleased with him and offered him the desired boom. So the Pitha is associated to the epic age. According to the Ramayan, Ram, Lakshmana and Sita on their way to Panchvati paid prayer to the Goddess Maa or Goddess Bhattarika. The Mankadagadia hill on the other side of Mahanadi where the foot mark of Ram, Lakshmana and Sita are worshipped is also quite significant. Another legend says that Krishna and Satyabhama visited Maa or Goddess Bhattarika and it was revealed to Arjun during his Agyantavasa. The Demon Gosimha kidnapped Satyabhama in disguise during that period. Arjun fought bravely and killed Gosimha demon. After that Krishna, Satyabhama and Arjun prayed Goddess Maa or Goddess Bhattarika; the presiding deity of the Badamba royal family. 

The term Maa or Goddess Bhattarika has different meaning. According to History and legend of Badambagada, Gajapati of Orissa ordered Hattakishor and Mallakishor the two brothers to establish two villages named Sankha and Mahuri. After that they became king in that place. Tribal chief of that area opposed these two brothers when they tried to construct Fort. A terrible battle was fought and finally tribal chief and his wife died in the battle. Before death the wife of the tribal chief advised king Hattakishore to worship the deity Maa or Goddess Bhattarika. Another name of the deity Maa or Goddess Bhattarika is Bruhadamba. The king named his state Bhuhadamba bearing the name of the Goddess. But latter it is know as Badamba Devi Maa or Goddess Bhattarika seated in Lalitasana holding a lotus in one hand and the other hand in Varadamudra. She is suryopasanatatpara. It is seen that the sun God is worshiped here. In the Jagamohan of the Maa or Goddess Bhattarika temple an image of sun god is kept. Another meaning of the Devi Maa or Goddess Bhattarika is respectable lady. Devi Maa or Goddess Bhattarika associated with eight small images, five in padmasana and three in Lalitasana. The associated images are Prabha, Maya, Jaya, Sukshma, Visuddha, Suprabha and Abhaya. According to Buddhist 'Yogachara´ system the Devi is seated in the centre of Chakra associated with eight deties. The priest worships the goddess as Rajarajeswari, Mahamaya, Tripura Sundari, Siddha Maa or Goddess Bhattarika. 

Some research scholars opine that the place was linked with Buddhism. At the time of Bhaumakara rule the particular place was associated with tantric Buddhism. The Somavamsis who were dead enemies of Buddhism might have converted the pitha into the Hindu fold. The tiny Buddhist image is now placed in the central niche. The present Tara image appears to be a later insertion. The worshippers of the goddess Maa or Goddess Bhattarika are nonBrahmin, this brings about a folk character of the deity. In the daily ritual of the deity the cooked fish is offered. Devi Maa or Goddess Bhattarika is considered as the deity of navigation and the Fisherman community. The popular myths, legends, archaeological evidence prove that Maa or Goddess Bhattarika Pitha has been Shakta Pitha or Shakti Shrine. The festival Pana Sankranti is celebrated here in April, Akshaya Tritiya in May and Dussehra in October.