About the Temple:
The presiding deity of Jajpur – the erstwhile capital of Odra (Odisha as it was known then), is one of the most revered temples of the state. There umpteen folklore regarding the origin of the idol though the earliest mention of Biraja Kshetra as it is called, can be traced to the Sanskrit Mahabharata. Biraja Kṣhetra or modern day Jajpur is regarded as the epicenter for Cultural Revolution of Odisha.
During the medieval period all the ancient sacred pilgrimage sites were converted into Peetha’s in the name of deities, hence Biraja Tirtha (Tirtha meaning pilgrimage site) came to be known as Biraja Peetha.
The temple is one of the fifty one Shakti Peetha’s In India. According to mythology the navel of Sati fell at this place & subsequently a temple was constructed like elsewhere in India. Hence it was also known as Navigaya. Legend aside the place was regarded as an iconic pilgrimage site since time immemorial.
The Mahisamardini was the presiding deity during the reign of the Bhaumakara and the Somavamsi rulers. Remnants of the sculptural embellishment of those period are still visible in the temple premises. The temple complex comprises of many smaller shrines each has its own story weaved into the legend of the Goddess which lends to her lore.
The iconography of the presiding deity Goddess Durga worshiped as Mahisamardini (Slayer of Buffalo Demon) is unique in the entire country. It is the only two armed Mahisamardini idol being worshipped since ancient times.
During the 16th century the temple was desecrated and was rebuilt by a Zamindar Sudarshan Mohapatra reconstructed the temple around the first half of 19th century AD. The compound wall was built by a Saint Bhikari Das some 110 year ago.
Devotees from far and wide come here to pay obeisance to the goddess.
During Dussehra – the representative of the Goddess is carried in a procession on a chariot amidst rhythmic chants, clanging of metal gongs & trumpets. The entire exercise lends a mystic charm to the atmosphere.
In And Around Jajpur
Jajpur, the ancient capital of Kalinga is dotted with many temples & sites of historical importance which stand testament to its glorious past. The Biraja Temple being the epitome. We have jotted down a few of the famous sites that showcase the heritage of the state.