Bhattarika Temple Orissa
The Bhattarika Temple is another famous Hindu pilgrimage destination in Cuttack. Dedicated to the Goddess Maa Bhattarika, who is believed to be an incarnation of Shakti, the temple is located right on the banks of the River Mahanadi. An interesting myth adds a colorful hue to the background of the Temple. In a war between Sahsarasjuna and Parasuram (an avatar of Lord Nayrayan), it was Saharasjuna who emerged victories in the first round. Parasuram not to be out done appealed to the Mother Goddess by mediating on a stone where he imaged the Goddess. The Devi pleased with his painstaking appeal imparted her Shakti to him Parasuram rejuvenated with the divine power of the Goddess beaten Sahasrajuna and from then on the place where the Goddess appeared came to be known as Bhattarika.
The Temple is said to have been built between the 6th century B.C. to the 16th century B.C. The major festivals celebrated at Bhattarika are Pana Sankranti in the month of Chaitra (April) Akshaya Trutiya in the month of Baisakh (May) and Dussehra in the month of October.
Surrounded by wonderful mountains collectively known as the Ratnagiri Mountains, Bhattarika blends harmoniously with nature. The Mahanadi, which flows in front of the temple, glistens like a shining slithery silver of lighting. Birds cooing and the surreal sunset make this place a magical space touched with the Divine.
Bhattarika lies in the Athgarh sub-division Cuttak district between Cuttack and Narsingpur. On the main road from the Gopalpur chowks. After 6 kms from here southwards, you will reach Sasanga Gram near the Ratnagiri Mountains. Indeed, when one arrives at Bhattarika one forests the material world our soul surges forward in communion with nature and the Divine.
Legend has it that the temple stands at the very spot where Goddess Durga bestowed her power on Parasuram while he prayed to the Goddess, as he was faced with defeat in front of Saharasjuna. Thousands of Hindu devotees visit on pilgrimage to offer their prayers. It is believed that this Bhattarika Temple was established by Parasuram and the image of the Goddess was carved by the tip of his arrow. Here Parasuram prayed to Goddess Durga to gain mercy of Goddess Durga to kill the Kshetriyas. After that Goddess Durga offered him her desired boom. This temple is also associated with the Oriya Ramayan. It is written on Oriya Ramayan that God Ram, Laxman and Sita prayed Goddess Bhattarika on their way to Panchavati. The foot marks of Sri Ram, Laxman and Mata Sita are also there at Mankadagadia which is present at the other side of the Mahanadi River.
There is also an amazing story behind this temple and this area. Once the Gajapati of Orissa ordered two brothers to establish two villages Sankha and Mahuri. The name of the two brothers were Hattakishor and Mallakishor. Then the two brother became the King of that place. When they want to construct Fort the tribal chief of that area opposed them. So a terrible battle takes place. In that battle the Tribal Chief and his wife died. Before death the wife of the chief advised the King Hattakishor to worship the Goddess Bhattarika. Another name of Goddess Bhattarika is Bruhatamba. So the King Hattakishor named that place Bhuhadamba as it is also a name of the famous Goddess Bhattarika. And later that place is known a Badamba.
There are Eight small images of Goddess Bhattarika are present in the Bhattarika temple. Among these eight images five in padmasana and three in Lalitasana. The very interesting story of this temple is that the worshipers of goddess Bhattarika are non-Brahmin and cooked fish is offered to goddess Bhattarika. So this Bhattarika temple is the famous and holy temple for the Fisherman community. But this place is really one of the best place of Orissa and also it is one of the best Shakti pitha of Orissa.
Places of Interest
Other famous places nearer to this temple are Narayana, Vindhyavasini, Nilamadhava, Simhanath etc.
Festivals celebrated at Bhattarika Temple
Well known festivals at Bhattarika Temple are Pana Sankranti in the month of Chaitra (April) Akshaya Trutiya in the month of Baisakh (May) and Dussehra in the month of October.
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