Kichakeswari Temple

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Kichakeswari Temple located at Khiching is a temple of Hindu Goddess Chamunda alias Kali , which was the ancient capital of the Bhanja rulers, located about 205 km from Balasore and 150 km from Baripada in the Mayurbhanj district of north Odisha.The temple is the largest temple in the town is dedicated to Goddess Kichakeswari, the family goddess of the ruling chiefs of Mayurbhanj. The Goddess Kiscakeshwari was not only the ishtadevata of Bhanj dynasty but also the State deity.The original temple dates back to 7th or 8th Century, with repairs done over the centuries.The main temple opens to devotees early at 5 in the morning and closes down at 10pm. It, however, remains closed between 12 noon to 3 pm.The temple, made of chlorite, is architecturally brilliant and well carved from its outer surface. This temple is one of the most impressive temple of Kalinga style of architecture. The style of the temple is contemporary of the Brahmeshwara and the Lingaraj temples of Bhubaneswar. Height of the temple is 100 feet (30 m) and total area is 1,764 square feet (163.9 m2).The exteriors of temple is highly decorated, with magnificent sculptors like nayakas, naga-nagin, Ganesha, Kirtimukha,Khakharamundi and other divine god and goddess. The huge pillars sculpted with Nagin are unique heritage of this temple.The shrine contains a large ten-armed fearsome skeletal image of Chamunda-Kali with striking veins, ribs and sunken belly, wearing a garland of skulls and seated over a dead body.

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