About the Temple
Located around 17KM from Purushottampur (Tara Tarini Temple) along the Budhamba- Polsara road, this hamlet served as a hiding place for Lord Jagannath from 1735-1737.
After Aurangzeb’s death in 1707 the Mughal hold began to weaken and instability seeped in. Taqi Khan became the governor of Odisha in 1727 and repeatedly attacked Hindu places of worship in the state.
The then King of Puri Gajapati Ramchandra Dev II was in no position to take on the marauding Taqi Khan, instead he planned a spectacular escape for Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra to Marada in Ganjam, thereby saving the Jagannath Temple from desecration at hands of the invaders.
He was aided by the then king of Athagarh, King Jagannath Harichandan Jagdev in this endeavour.
The Marada temple, which was home to the Lord for around two and a half years, is a conspicuous piece of Kalinga Architecture. The temple located at Hatibari forest resembled as a stone mound from a distance. It had a false ceiling where the deities were hidden.
Lord Jagannath and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra were reinstated back the Puri Jagannath Temple in the later half of 1736, when liberal minded Murshid Alikhan was appointed as the Mughal Subedar of Odisha after the death of Taqi Khan.
The significance of Marada is sadly lost in the pages of history
The annual rath yatra was suspended during this period when Lord Jagannath was at the Marada Temple and he was worshipped in complete anonymity. Till this day the Marada temple doesn’t observe the rath yatra and there are no deities in the temple.
The place is called Sharan Srikshetra The three circular stone pedestal on which Lord Jagannath and his siblings were placed during his stay here are worshipped till date.
The temple was completed in flat two months time. The masons and carpenters were hired from a village called Mathura for the job.
It’s perhaps the only surviving hiding places of Lord Jagannath during the tumultuous period of 1568 AD to 1735 AD.