About the Temple
Located on the foothills of Barunei hills- the two presiding deities of the temple are Goddess Barunei and Goddess Karunei. Both the deities are regarded as manifestations of Goddess Shakti.
The goddesses were worshipped as the family deity of the Bhoi dynasty of Khurda and the temple is believed to have been built by the founder of Bhoi Dynasty King Rama Chandra Dev-I,around the year 1590 AD.
King Ramachandra Deva-I,established Khurda as his new capital and named it “Jagannathpurkatak”.The deities were revered by the Paika’s – the warrior clan of erstwhile kingdom of Kalinga- modern day Odisha.
The Goddesses are offered a kind of pancake made up of rice, lentils and coconut covered with leaves- in Odia its called Pitha and rice cooked with lentils called- Khichdi in Odia.
The hillock of Barunei has many legends associated with it- Its believed that Lord Ram visited the hills and so did the Pandava’s during their exile.
The two goddesses are considered as the protector of the kingdom of Khurda and are very powerful. It’s alleged that the Muslim invaders undermined the powers of the goddesses by sacrificing a cattle in the temple premise, which helped them capture Khurda in 1606.The act was repeated by the British to suppress the Paika rebellion, when they smeared their weapons with the blood of a bullock.
Things to Do
The Hillock is a nice place to explore nature and do a short but exhaustive trekking as its very steep. Though avoid trekking during the rainy seasons as it can be very slippery.