A Perfect Example of Temple Renovation
The present day temple of Goddess Kichakeswari a form of Chamunda is a tale of a perseverance of a king and the dedication of a supervisor from Archaeological Survey of India. The beautiful district of Mayurbhanj was once the citadel of the Bhanja Kings from 950 AD to 1250 AD. Being patrons of art and culture they encouraged a cosmopolitan culture which allowed art and culture to flourish in the region.
The Khiching temple was a watershed moment in during the rule of the Bhanja dynasty. After the rule of Bhanja’s ended, the region suffered from neglect and its heritage gathered dust and ultimately was lost in the ruins. The anointed successor of Bhanja dynasty Maharaja Purna Chandra Bhanja Deo took up the task of restoring the temple of Goddess Kichikeswari the family deity between 1922-1924. After painstaking excavation work and finalizing of the design, the Maharaja met a tragic death in 1928.
After the death of the Maharaja, Shri. Sailendra Prasad Bose then a supervisor with ASI stepped in. The work of the temple started in 1934 and completed in 1941, costing a princely sum of Rs.80, 000/- then. The renovated temple conforms to the Odisha Style of Temple Architecture however, there is no Jagamohana (porch).
The idol of the presiding deity Goddess Kichakeswari is Goddess Chamunda in an emaciated form and of fearful disposition. The legend of the goddess and the beauty of the temple occupies pride of place amongst the people of Mayurbhanj.
The museum located in the temple premises is a storehouse of exquisite pieces of sculptures, which were recovered during the excavation work.
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