History of Ambika Temple
The gazetteer and surveys on temple restructure and reform namely, the archeological surveys of Mayurbhanj (1911), edited by notable archeologist of India, Late N.N. Basu and district gazetteer of Mayurbhanj, complied by eminent bureaucrat Late Nilamani Senapati highlight that in the middle of the then Baripada town, known as bagasamal gardh, there was a very small pitha (bijesthali) of Maa Ambika, which did not have attendants and was in a barren condition. A temple for the Devi was built at that time. The then renowned Gujarati contractor namely, Late Walji Gobind is credited with the establishment of the current main temple. Walji Gobind’s only son suffered from smallpox, which was detected as incurable. He then worshiped Devi Ambika to cure his son. He believed that the Devi’s blessings were showered on his son due to which he got cured. He therefore had reconstructed the Devi’s temple in 1920. Later, expansion of the present structure took place. Temples for other deities inside the premises have been established with the help and donations of the devotees of Ambika Temple.
Deity of Ambika Temple
The idol of the deity in the Ambika Temple is constructed using fine marble stone. It has four hands also known as Chaturbhuja. Maa Ambika is evident as seated on a lion. She is holding arms namely, Dambaru, Khadga, Kharpara and Trisula in her four hands. A captivating aspect of the idol is that even though the Devi has arms in her hands to fight with all the odds and save the mankind, her face is calm and cool with a vibrant glow. Devotees share a notion that the Devi is always looking at them with a motherly affection. A belief associated with the idol is that a visitor of this temple, who asks for her blessings while looking at her, will experience a divine touch. Maa Ambika is surrounded by other deities as well in the temple. Some of theses deities are Adyapujya Vignaraj Ganesha, Parama Yogi Ambikeswar Mahadev, Sankatamochana Panchamukhi Hanuman, Mangalamayi Maa Mangala and Shri Chandika.
Festivals Celebrated in Ambika Temple
The annual Durga Puja, Basanti Puja, Pana Sankranti, Rojo Sankranti and Makara Sankranti are the festivals celebrated in Ambika Temple. During the Durga Puja, also known as Saradiya Durga Puja, Sodosha Upachara, Chandi Patha and Homa Yagyan on the days of Maha Saptami, Maha Astami, Maha Navmi are performed. They are performed in tantric as well as in Vedic ways with the cooperation of the devotees and their requests. On Dasahara, the special puja completion is done in the traditional way with the Purnahuti. During the Basantakalin Durga Puja, also known as Basanti Puja, the same Sodosha Uapchar puja is performed on Basantika Saptami, Ashoka Asatami and Rama Navami. On the Dasahara day, Purnahuti is performed similar to that in Saradiya Durga Puja.
Surrounding of Ambika Temple
A reservoir named Kunda is located in the vicinity of the temple. It was constructed to control a 50 feet high waterfall.
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