Manikeswari Temple, Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi

Manikeswari Temple, Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi

Maa Manikeswari (ମା' ମାଣିକେଶ୍ୱରୀ) is one of the most popular Hindu deities in Western Odisha. There are many Manikeswari temples present in the Western and Southern parts of Odisha. But the Manikeswari Temple situated near the Bhawanipatna Palace of Kalahandi District is well recognized in Odisha. 

Manikeswari is also the primary deity associated with the royal family of Paralakhemundi in the Gajapati District. Chhatar Jatra (ଛତର ଯାତ୍ରା) is one of the most popular festivals of Maa Manikeswari in Bhawanipatna.

The deity of Chakrakotamandala comprising present days Kalahandi, Koraput, and Bastar was Manikya Devi or Manikeswari around the 10th century A.D. Later on Kalahandi king Harichandra Deo struggled and died because of which his pregnant queen left for her father’s house in Gadapur, Phulbani.

Some part of Phulbani was part of Mahakantara in ancient time and Chakrakota Mandala. Though the capital of Chakrakotamandala is still being debated, it is clear that it has many similarities to Kamala Mandala, another ancient name of Kalahandi, Manikya Devi came to Gadapur perhaps due to the influence of Chakrakota Mandala.

Later, the queen and her son, Ramchandra Deo returned with Manikya Debi or Manikeswari as per Kalahandi’s public request at that time. Manikeswari was brought from Gadapur (Phulbani) around 1200 A.D. and it was located in Kalahandi.

Maa Manikeswari was also popularized by Suryabansi Gajapati in the 15th-16th century in the Puri region. Purushottama Deva Gajapati considered Manikeswari as the consort of Lord Jagannath and made a shrine of Manikeswari at Chilika, which now doesn’t exist.

Manikeswari is the royal family deity of Parlakhemundi. Manikeswari was installed in Bhawanipatna much later around 1849 AD during the shifting of the capital from Junagarh. Some people also mention Manikeswari in Thumaul Rampur as Adipitha and Devi was brought to Bhawanipatna from there.

Manikeswari Temple, Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi

Udit Narayan Deo laid the foundation of the present Manikeswari temple in Bhawanipatna and it was completed in 1947 by Brajamohan Deo. Maa Manikeswari was associated with Kalahandi history as a goddess of wealth, Manik, since the 10th century.

There are many Manikeswari worshiping locations in many places of Odisha and Chhattisgarh, especially in undivided districts of Koraput, Phulbani, Boudh, Bolangir, Sonepur, Ganjam, Gajapati, Angul, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Sundergarh, etc. due to influence by various rulers.

Some famous Manikeswar Temples of Odisha:

  • Bhawanipatna
  • Paralakhemundi
  • Thuamul Rampur
  • Jugasaipatna
  • Himgir, Sundargarh

Chhatar Jatra of Maa Manikeswari:

Chatar Jatra is the traditional festival of Maa Manikeswari. It is mainly celebrated by the people of the Kalahandi District.

Chhatra Jatra is meant to celebrate the Vijaya Utsav with a cheerful heart and splendid display. The festival is being celebrated during the Mahastami of Durga puja festival.

The ritual practice of Khonds (Adivasis of Kalahandi Districts) Nabakalevar (the renewal of post-worship) is also performed during the festival.

Chhatar Jatra of Maa Manikeswari Temple Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi

Maa Manikeswari comes out from the Garbhagriha on Mahasptami and Mahastami mid-night to Jenakhal which is at about 3 km distance from the alma mater. The Jatra starts with Nagar Paribhramana in the morning of Mahastami.

A bamboo covered with black cloth represents Maa Manikeswari in the Jatra, and at the top on the silver plate, Dasamahavidya Yantra is installed which represents the Tantric Hinduism.

Ghumura Dance from Chhatar Jatra of Maa Manikeswari, Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi

To please Maa Manikeswari, a tribal dance is performed, which is known as the Ghumura dance. Ghumura is a traditional dance and a heritage of the Kalahandi district. It is a dance performed with the traditional instrument Ghumura Veer Badya. The dancers tie the Ghumura (Badya/Instrument) on their shoulders and hang it tight on their chest.

ChhatarJatra of Maa Manikeswar Temple, Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi

More Blogs:

  1. Manikeswari Temple, Thuamula Rampur
  2. Chhatar Jatra
  3. Phurlijharan
  4. Indravati Dam
  5. Durga Puja Wishes

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