Sunday, 21 January 2018

Idol of Goddess Maa Chandi Cuttack - Discover Odisha
Katak Chandi temple,entrance gate,Odisha.en.wikipedia.org/
Like many southern Indian states, the state of Odisha has countless Hindu temples dedicated to God Vishnu, God Shiva and Goddess Sakthi. Sakthi is worshiped in many forms, the popular being Durga and Chandi.  The most popular place of Sakthi worship is Maa Chaandi temple in the prime part of the city.

The Katak Chandi Temple of Cuttack in Odisha is an important pilgrimage center and is quite well-known for Durga and and Kali puja festivals held annually.  Dedicated to Goddess Chandi, this ancient temple is close to the banks of the river Mahanadhi. The belief is the presiding deity of Cuttack, popularly called  Maa Katak Chandi, who  sits in the heart of the city and since ancient time has been ruling over this place. Maa Chandi is worshipped as Bhuvaneshvari Mahavidya (the queen of universe)  by the Brahmins native to this place - Utkala Brahmin community. 

Cuttack city. Maps of India
Legend has  it, the site of the this temple was once a grazing ground. One day, when Sri Hansa Panda, the priest of the royal ruler  Kanika was taking rest he experienced a strange feeling that preoccupied his mind for a long time. The same night he had a divine  dream, the Goddess “Chandika” appeared  and asked  him to take her out of the land. Highly disturbed by this divine dream, he informed the local ruler about it. On king's order, the site where the priest/pundit took rest was dug and after prolonged digging there emerged the beautiful image of Maa Katak Chandi. After some deliberations, a temple was built as per local prevailing Sastras. Since the idol is older than the temple, it is said, that she was the presiding deity of the Gajapati kingdom  in the medieval age.  It is likely that the Goddess' idol was buried deep in the ground by the rulers  before moving over to the coastal town of Puri. This was done to escape the fury of Islamic rulers who were bent on killing Hindus, destroying the Hindu temples and looting the valuable treasures.
Katak Chandi Temple at Cuttack iMy India Travel - Blogspot
Late Sri Hansa Panda began the regular puja protocol and worshiped the consecrated deity with true devotion in accordance with  the customs laid down in the scriptures related to Goddess Chandika. The credit goes to one of the descendants of Sri Hansa Panda - Sri Dayanidhi Panda, son of Lakshman Panda,  who made this temple popular. Temple rituals and puja protocols are taken care of by his descendants as they are the hereditary priets/ Sevakas at this temple whereas Raja Shriman Shailendra Narayan Bhanjadeo of Kanika  and his descendant will be  hereditary trustee.

Here, the deity Bhuvaneshwari has four hands, adorned with four  weapons and gestures symbolic of  Paasha (noose), Ankusha (goad), dispelling fear (Abhaya), and granting boon (Varada). She is worshipped as Bhuvaneswari while chanting Bhuvaneswari Mantra. The Durga Puja festivities are quite popular in Maa Katak Chandi temple  and it is a 16 day celebrations of  intense worship with religious fervor. It starts from dark fortnight of Ashwina Krishna Ashtami till Ashwina shukla navami and Vijayadashami.

The temple is being managed by a trust that includes state government officials besides some prominent people in the local place, royal family member and the priest.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuttack_Chandi_Temple