Location of Biraja Temple
Biraja Temple is located at a distance of almost 125 kilometres north from Bhubaneswar.
Dedication in Biraja Temple
Biraja Temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Durga.
History of Biraja Temple
The goddess is revered in the name of Viraja. According to mythology it is said that the Sati's navel fell here. This religious place has been termed as Oddiyana Peetha by Adi Shankara in his Ashtadasha shakti peetha stuti. The goddess has been named as Girija. Oddiyana is the name of an ornament worn by women around their navel. The land is known as Odra Desha.
Deity of Biraja Temple
Biraja Temple dates back to the 13th century and is spread over a wide area. Goddess Durga the presiding deity of the temple is worshipped as Mahishasuramardini by Brahmins of Jajpur. The deity has two hands. With one hand she holds a spear with which she pierces the chest of Mahishasura and with the other hand she holds the tail of the demon. The deity has placed her one leg on her vehicle, the lion and kept the other leg on the chest of the demon. Mahishasura has been portrayed in the form of a buffalo. The crown of the goddess has been adorned with the symbol of Lord Ganesha, a crescent moon and a Shivalinga. The temple has many Shivalingas and other deities.
Festivals of Biraja Temple
Biraja Temple celebrates few festivals, the most important being the Sharadiya Durga Puja celebrated for 16 days. The festival starts before the Mahalaya from the Krishna Paksha Ashtami night. It ends on the Ashwin Shukla Paksha Navami. The festival is also known as Shodasha Dinatatmika Puja. During the Mahashtami and Mahanavami days the Ratha Yatra of the goddess takes place. The chariot is named as Simhadhwaja as it bears the flag symbol of a lion. Animal sacrifice known as 'Bali Danam' takes place in the temple during the transition of lunar phase from Shukla Ashtami to Shukla Navami. On the Dussehra day the Aparajita Puja is conducted. The deity is worshipped regularly according to the rituals prescribed in Tantra and Agama.
Tourism in Biraja Temple
The devotees from far off places flock Biraja Temple during Mahalaya and Durga Puja. They bath in the holy water of Baitarani River on the Chaitra Krishna Chaturdasi. The day is known as Varuni Snan Yoga.
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