Kanchi is a place and in Odia, Abhijan word means “Conquest”.
Kanchi or Kanchipuram which is now called as the holy city of South India in Tamil Nadu is considered one of the seven Indian cities to attain salvation in life.
Kanchi Abhijan is one of the most talked stories of Lord Jagannath. According to legends, Princess of Kanchi was famous for her beauty and erudition. The then Gajapati or the King of Puri, Purusottam Deb mooted a proposal of marriage with the princess. His proposal not only met with rejection but was also came with sarcastic remarks by the King of Kanchi. He had said that he won’t marry his daughter to a sweeper, referring to the ‘Chera Pahanra’ rituals which The Puri Gajapati does as a tradition in the famous Rath Jatra of Lord Jagannath the God of the Universe.
The Puri Gajapati took this as an act of insult to the Lord himself, then Gajapati set out to avenge this insult. Before setting off, he himself knew that the army of Kanchi was huge, well trained compared to his own army. Being a strong believer, he prayed to the Lord for victory and set out on his journey.
Somewhere at Adipur near Chilika Lake, Manik Gouduni the milk-maid obstructed the Maharaja pleading for the unpaid cost of cheese and curd eaten by his two leading soldiers riding black and white horses producing a gold ring as evidence. Tears filled up in his eyes when Purusottam identified the ring as that of Lord Jagannath and thus leading the expedition. He named a village after the milkmaid, now known as Manikapatna. Paid her the dues and set out towards Kanchi.
It was a war between Jagannath-led army with that of Ganesh-led army of Kanchi. Another tale, tells it that whoever had won the battle. Would put the enemy’s presiding deity behind their own. That is why at the Jagannath temple in Puri, the idol of Ganeshji is behind the main sanctum of Prabhu Jagannath.
The army led by Purushottam Deb had to fight a fierce battle, and since they had the grace of the Lord they finally win the battle. The princess was taken captive and brought to Puri. Not forgetting about the insult made to the king, the Gajapati ordered his Minister to get the princess married to a sweeper.
The kind-hearted minister took her under his care and looked after her as his own daughter until the next Rath Yatra. At the moment when the Gajapati was preforming the “Chera Pahanra” ritual, he instructed her to put the ‘Varmala’ (garland) around the King’s neck. The King was startled when the Minister explained that he had just followed his orders of marrying the princess off to a sweeper.
Also Read: Trivikram Besa of Lord Jagannath