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Showing posts with label attractions of Cuttack. Show all posts
Showing posts with label attractions of Cuttack. Show all posts

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A visit to Maa Cuttack Chandi

When I visited Cuttack recently, a visit to the Cuttack Chandi temple was on my must-do list. Cuttack Chandi or the living Goddess as referred to by the locals, is the presiding deity of the town. From where we had put up (Near to Biju Patnaik Chowk), it took us hardly 10 mins to reach the place by an auto. While it can be very crowded during the Dusshera and Kali Pujas, there were few people in the temple that day.

Image - courtesy Wiki

A small structure, the temple is quite inconspicuous by itself. At first glance, one would mistake it for just another temple like I did. Only when the auto driver took a U-turn and asked us to get down before the entrance, I realized that we had arrived at our destination. Like most temples, it had a little pond /tank to wash ones feet and a set of taps of clean ones' hand and mouth. Upon entering the temple, we found the usual shops selling earthen lamps, lali sankha (red bangles), chunni and the prasad items. Some pooja books were also available. One must be careful in asking the price (especially of the bundled items) while buying from such shops. The shopkeepers will usually mention the prices of 2-3 items and skip the rest. Once you return the basket after doing the pooja, they quote a higher amount thus taking you by surprise. Seasoned devotees/visitors do not fall for such traps but outsiders may sometimes be taken for a ride.

After lighting the lamps at the big lamp stand, we entered the temple and offered worship to the Goddess. While the temple is of recent origin, the actual deity is rumored to be an ancient one that belonged to the household of the Gajapati King. Legend has it that it was buried under earth to protect it from the plundering Muslim invaders. A purohit (priest) who happened to take an uneasy nap at the same spot was visited by the Goddess herself and the idol was reclaimed at her will. It is said that the piece of land yielded no less than forty bullock cart loads full of Red sindoor before the idol emerged. The temple has been built on the same land and the family (present generations) of the late priest Sri Hansa Panda is in charge of the daily rituals of the temple.

The beautiful idol of Maa rests on a silver throne and is adorned with silver jewelry. She is depicted having four hands, one holding a paasha (noose), the other holding an ankusha, while the other two hands convey the abhaya (fearless) and the vara (boon) mudras respectively. Adorned with the kapala (human head) mala made up of silver and lots of fresh flower garlands, the idol is very enchanting. It surrounds one with a divine feeling and one is left spell-bound.

The various avatars of Shakti

There are a few other idols/small temples situated within the premises. After offering our worship to all the Gods and Goddesses, we headed back home.

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