About the Temple
Located at Chaurasi village, approximately 54 KM from Bhubaneswar and 55 KM from Puri , this is by far the most beautiful temple in the entire Prachi Valley. The temple was built around the 10th century AD during the last phase of the reign of Bhaumakara dynasty in Odisha and at its peak was regarded as the most powerful tantric pitha of the region.
The temple is built in Khakra style just like the Baitala Deula of Bhubaneswar but much bigger and spaced out with elaborate carvings all over. On the first look it resembles the temples of Mahabalipuram.
The presiding deity is Maa Barahi worshiped as Matsya Barahi. Barahi is the female form of Baraha one of the Saptamtrikas and is believed to be the Shakti of Baraha. According to tantric traditions Baraha tantra worships five forms of the goddess. They are Swapna Barahi, Matsya Barahi, Chanda Barahi, Mahi Barahi and Kruccha Barahi. The Matsya Barahi idol at the Barahi Temple is considered one of the most enigmatic and magnificent idol of Barahi in the entire country. The idol has the head of a Boar and the body of a pot bellied divine woman. The pot belly signifies that she is holding the entire universe in her womb. The temple is guarded by a lion.
The idol apart, the architecture of the temple is just awe inspiring. The profusion of beautiful carvings which seamlessly flows from one end to the other all in a synchronised manner is what makes this temple so beautiful. The Jagamohana (entrance hall) borders are carved with stories of Ramayana.
The dainty “Nayikas” (beautiful women) adorned with jewelleries seem to embrace life.
The beautifully carved “Adisesa” – hooded serpent shielding upper body of human with folded hands and lower body of a serpent on the columns and pillars are another stand out piece of architecture.
The idol of Sun God “Surya” also catches your attention. All in all the temple is a treat for the eyes, the aesthetic sense and craftsmanship.
The temple was amongst the first to have been built in the valley. Currently the temple is maintained by the ASI and perhaps that’s one of the reasons its the most well maintained temple in the region.
There is no public transport to the place, so either one hires a cab or auto or best option is to take your own vehicle. Chaurasi village is along the Kakatpur-Nimapada route. One can reach the temple via Konark. From Konark head towards Kakatpur and from there take the road to Nimapada. Chaurasi Village is approximately 7-8Km from Kakatpur.
The roads apart from the odd rough patch and the landscape are beautiful & gives the essence of rural Odisha
However there are no public amenities like toilets, hotels etc. There are shops at Kakatpur and Nimapada which offer good decent meal at a budget if you are coming from the Konark. If you are heading back to Bhubaneswar then there are shops at Niali which offer decent food . But dont expect normal hotel ambiance. If you are particular about food etc then for a day long trip its better to make your own provision as far as food goes.
Offbeat Places Links