Located in a quaint place called Joranda 30KM from Dhenkanal, Mahima Gadi or the seat of the Mahima Cult portrays a powerful social message. The later part of the 18th Century & the early part of Nineteenth Century Hinduism witnessed a revolution of sorts to reform the religion, which was wilting under the caste system & superstition. Mahima sect came into existence in Odisha with a primary aim to get rid of the evils that was ailing the society. The religion preached equality and the concept of One God .
Followers of the Mahima Sect, believe their founder Mahima Gosain is an incarnation of “Param Brahma” (Creator) and descended from the Himalayas. Not much is known about his stay in the Himalayas, but he did tour Odisha quite a lot and spent considerable time in Puri, Cuttack and other major places of Odisha, before finally settling down in Joranda.
Govinda Das was the earliest known disciple of Mahima Gosain, likewise there are 64 such disciples who were conferred the title of “Abadhuta” by the Saint. The title was conferred only after the disciple gained “Siddhi “or Accomplishment. The other notable follower of the Mahima sect was celebrated poet Bhima Bhoi- whose lines – Has been immortalized in the main hall of the United Nations building in New York.
Dekhu Dekhu Ke Ba Sahu
Mo Jibana Pachhe Narke Padithau
Jagata Uddhara Heu”
“Boundless is the anguish and misery of the living, who can see it and tolerate
Let my soul be condemned to Hell, But let the Universe be redeemed”
Saint Mahima Gosain it is believed retreated to Joranda as he could foresee his end was near, he left his mortal soul according to his own wishes on the 14th day of Phalguna ( February – March ) in 1876.
The followers of the Sect have to follow certain strict guidelines or ‘Guruagyna” as it is called, like offering of prayers twice day, in the morning at dawn & in the evening at dusk. The prayers are offered under the skies. The rituals are minimal and have no concept of offerings or sacrifices. The followers abstain from any intake of food or water after sunset. The followers of the Sect are divided into three groups based on their accomplishments. The Kumbhipatias are the most revered and are distinguished by their dress which is made from the bark of the Slow Match Tree or Kumbhi as it is known locally. Next are the Kanapatias who were rag and the third one are the Ashritas who were a piece of red cloth. It must be noted that out of the above three, the Ashritas don’t renounce of the world altogether.
The Mahima Gadi or the seat of the Mahima Cult in Joranda has four temples each with its own significance attached to Saint Mahima Gosain.
The Gadi Temple where the mortal remains of the Saint was buried, it is the most significant temple of the region and has become its identity over the years.
The Sunya Temple – Where the Saint left the mortal world.
The Dhuni Temple – Built around 1960’s, the followers offer their prayers at dawn and dusk here.
The Niti Upasana Temple – Where the Saint lived.
In all the temples “Fire” is an important component, the “Akhanda Pradeep” or Lamp will be continuously burning.
Magha Mela celebrated in Feb/March – the day Saint Mahima Gosain left the mortal world- is the most famous festival of the Sect and draws large crowds every year.
Where to Stay
Nirupama Hotels offers decent option for a night halt. It is almost at the interjection of the road to Kapilash Temple and Joranda.
Check out time – 9 AM
Website – www.nirupamagroup.com
(M)- +91-94374 83917
Mahima Gadi is 135 KM from Cuttack (enroute to Dhenkanal).
The place doesn’t have proper restaurants, Dhenkanal one can find some decent ones. Though there some good dhabas along the highway especially near Gobindpur and nearby areas.
One can find ATM’s at Joranda, petrol pumps are along the highway or in Dhenkanal.
Dhenkanal is the nearest major town, buses ply frequently from Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and other cities of Odisha to Dhenkanal.
Dhenkanal is also well connected by the railway network.
Nearest airport is Bhubaneswar.