Saturday, December 31, 2016

Kichakeswari Temple or Khiching Temple - Khiching - Mayurbhanj - Odisha

Kichakeswari Temple or Khiching Temple:


The predominant deity of Khiching is Kichakeswari, the most scared Goddess of the Mayurbhanj chiefs. The temple dedicated to her is built entirely of chlorite slabs and unique of it kind in India. 

The sculptures are beautiful. A small museum here boasts of highly important historical specimens of sculpture and art. The original temple was built somewhere in the 7th or the 8th century AD and was reconstructed in the 20th century from the ruins of an earlier temple. 

The image of Kichakeswari, now being worshipped at the main temple at Khiching is the grim figure of the Goddess Chamunda. This figure, although broken in three parts has been joined together and inspires awe and fear among the devotees. 

According to N.N Vasu this image is one of the forms of Bhima, the emaciated body disclosing a hideous skeleton with the bones and ribs all laid bare. The Goddess is seated on a lotus issuing from the naval of Purusa. Over the head and back of the Goddess rises the figure of Airavata. 

On other side of her crown the reisaserpent with uplifted hood. Of the eight hands the left ones are in Abhaya and Varada poses and hold rosaries and a head where as two right hands hold a dambaru and a cup, the other two being completely damaged. 

Thus the temple of Goddess Kichakeswari is a priceless embodiment of superb charm and inimitable grace, and occupies a significant place among the famous monuments of Orissa like Konark, Puri and Bhubaneswar as a sacred sanctuary of religious activities and the Goddess Kichakeswari in the form of eight-armed Chamunda of Sakta pantheon stands gloriously betokening the heyday of royal dignity and aristocracy. 

The main temple opens to devotees early at 5 a.m. and closes down at 10 pm. It, however, remains closed between 12 noon to 3 pm. Just near to temple, a museum build. The Khiching Museum is the second oldest museum in the state of Odisha. 

During the time of excavation by Archaeological Survey of India in the year 1908 several images of gods and goddess where found including the images of Buddha. These are preserved in a museum housed within the temple compound, which was constructed by Maharaja Purna Chandra Bhanjdeo in the year 1922. Khiching is 50kms from Keonjhar and 190km from Balasore.