The ancient Kichakeswari Temple is located around 25km away from Karanjia, in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. Located near the confluence of the rivers Khairibandhana and Kantakhairi, the temple is one of the unique attractions of the region.
The temple is known for its impressive architecture, history and its religious relevance. Let us take a tour of this beautiful temple in Odisha.
Architecture of Kichakeswari Temple
Though the original temple dates back to 7th or 8th century, the temple has been renovated several time to the structure we see today. The temple is built in chlorite, the structure is beautifully carved from its exterior portion. The architectural style used is the typical Kalinga style of architecture. You can find this temple similar to the Brahmeswara and Lingaraj temples of Bhubaneswar.
The original sculptures of Prasvadevatas, the amorous couples, the Chaitya arches and the other minute details of the temple have been retained despite the renovations done. The exterior part of the current structure is elaborately sculpted with images of nayakas, Ganesha, Kirtimukha, Khakharamundi and other Gods and Goddesses. The pillars of the temple are ornamented with Nagin which denotes the heritage of the temple.
The shrine of the temple contains a skeletal image of a 10-armed Chamunda Kali. This fearsome image wears a garland of skulls, and has striking veins, ribs and a sunken belly. The deity is seated over a dead body.
The Khiching Museum
The Khiching museum is another attraction within the temple complex. The museum is the second oldest museum of Odisha. Several images that were found during excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India are preserved in this museum. Some of them include the life-sized idols of Ganesha, Durga, Parvati, Vaishnavi, Nandi, Uma, etc. displayed here. It also has exhibits like coins, potteries, chains, ornaments, seals, terracotta figures that were significant parts of ancient temples. The idols of Buddha and Avalokitesvara depict the bland and harmony of religions and cultures that existed here since ancient times.
Other Places to See in Mayurbhanj
The other attractions of Mayurbhanj include Baripada, Simlipal National Park and Deokund.
Best Time to Visit Mayurbhanj
Winter is the ideal time to visit the place, which is from October to late February.