About the Temple
The temple located in the sleepy town of Remuna about 9KM from Balasore is an oasis of mysticism which contributes to its cult. It is believed that the deity of Gopinath was found by King Langula Narasimha Deva who was on a pilgrimage and was installed at Remuna by the King between 1238 AD and 1264 AD.
Legend of the Deity
It is believed that the idol was carved by Lord Rama with his arrow in the Treta yuga. The legend is that once Lord Rama during his exile at Dandakaranya (Modern day Chhattisgarh) was smiling and looking at the shepherds tending to their cows, his wife devi Sita asked him the reason for his joyful expression on his face, to which Lord Rama said, that during the Dwarpa Yuga he will take birth as Lord Krishna and tend to the cows in the same way along the banks of river Yamuna. Sita grew inquisitive and asked Rama about his appearance; heeding her request Rama engraved a black stone with the image of Lord Krishna. With passage of time the Idol was found by King Langula Narasimha Deva and consecrated at Remuna.
Mysticism of Gopinath
However, the tale of Kshirachora Gopinath is woven around three great saints and their supreme devotion to Lord Krishna. If the Jagannath temple at Puri is the all encompassing benevolent Lord of Odisha than Kshirachora Gopinath is the transcendental Saint of Odisha.
Legend behind the Name: –
The name Kshirachora Gopinath literally means Stealer of Milk in Odia. The temple gets its name from an incident involving the first of the three great saints to have visited the Gopinath temple in Remuna as it was called then.
Saint Madhavendra Puri was born in the 14th Century AD somewhere in modern day Karnataka. A devout worshipper of Lord Krishna, the saint spent most of his life in Vrindavan and later on in Odisha. During his pilgrimage to Puri to visit the Lord Jagannath temple, the saint was carrying sandalwood and camphor back to Vrindavan to smear his deity Lord Gopala as he called Krishna, which will help cool the Lord during the summers. On his way back he reached Remuna. After paying obeisance to Lord Gopinath, the saint was immediately taken in by the aura emanating from the deity. That night as the Prasad (food for the deity) was being offered to the Lord, one of the items – a unique offering served in an earthen pot caught the Saints attention. He asked the temple priest what it was, because such an offering isn’t made to Lord Krishna anywhere else. On being told that it is sweetened condensed milk, the saint suddenly had an urge to taste it, so that he can offer the same to his Gopala at Vrindavan.
Soon he was overcome with guilt of desiring something which hasn’t been offered to Lord yet, as a penance he left the temple and sat in a secluded place and started chanting Lord Krishna’s name. That night, when the temple priest of Gopinath came to clear the Prasad area, he found one earthen pot missing. Disturbed at the developments, the temple priest nevertheless retired for the day, in his dream Lord Krishna appeared and said that he himself had hidden the earthen pot behind his clothes and ordered that it be served to his beloved devotee Saint Madhavendra Puri. After this incident the Lord came to be known as Kshirachora Gopinath.
It didn’t stop at that, the Lord appeared in Saint Madhavendra Puri’s dream and asked him to smear the sandalwood and camphor daily on Gopinath, by doing this his Gopala at Vrindavan will also get relief from the heat of the summers. Thus Saint Madhavendra Puri’s association with Remuna came part of the folklore. His Samadhi (tomb) is one of the main attractions of this temple town. The Saint was the teacher of Saint Ishwar Prabhu who in turn was the teacher of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – a disciple of Saint Ishwar Prabhu, he came to Odisha in the 16th Century AD, while his association with Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri is well documented, he did visit Kshirachora Gopinath and spent considerable time there enamoured by the aura of Gopinath. He was responsible partly to spread the mysticism associated with the unique name of the temple across the borders of Odisha. The Saint’s footprints are still there in the temple premises.
Rasikananda Prabhu – The other great saint who followed Chaitanya was Rasikananda Prabhu, born around 1590 AD to King Achyuta Deva and Queen Rohini, he gave up his princely life in pursuit of his devotion to Lord Krishna. Legend has it that Saint Rasikananda Prabhu entered the temple, after seeking blessing from the Lord his body merged with the idol. His samadhi is just at the back of the temple within its premises.
Currently the deity of Kshirachora Gopinath is flanked by Govinda on the right and Madan Mohana on the left. These two idols were brought from Vrindavan in 1938 by Saint Baba Chaitanya Dasa.
Recently the temple underwent a major renovation which was carried out by the Emami group- A prominent corporate house in Northern Odisha
The founder of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) Swami Prabhupada established an ISKCON centre in Toronto called New Remuna Dham.
Janmastami & Dola Purnima is celebrated with great fanfare in the temple
Important Information: –
Once you come to Kshirachora Gopinath- after the darshan dont forget to dig into the famous Kheer for which this temple is famous. The pure dollops of joy are available in small earthen pots price ranging from Rs.20/-, Rs.30/- and Rs.60/-.
Remuna is easily accessible from Balasore- Buses, Auto’s & taxi’s ply regularly.
There are hardly any restaurants in Remuna, so it’s advisable to plan your travel accordingly as far as food is concerned. Though one can have a sumptuous Prasad for lunch for Rs.50/person
It’s advisable to visit the temple in the day time or early evening, as the roads leading to the temple is quite narrow and needs maintenance.
Temple visiting hours – Morning – 5.30 am to 12:30 pm & 1:20pm to 1:30pm
Evening – 4pm to 8.30 pm & 9.20pm to 9.30 pm
Though visitors usually stay in Balasore while visiting the temple. There is a Yatrinivas guest house run by the Kshirachora Gopinath temple trust.
No. of rooms – 4 rooms
Accommodation type – very basic.
Rate – One can book it for half a day or full day as per convenience. Rate for half a day – Rs.200/- for Full day – Rs.400/-
Food – The guest house serves Prasad as food. If you want to stay it’s advisable to book well in advance and let the staff know about your food requirements
Booking – Can be done only through phone unless you have a local acquaintance, who can go to the temple and do the booking for you. Ph no. – 06782224245