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Goddess Biraja

Temple History

Biraja Devi Temple is situated in Jajpur town of Jajpur district in Odisha state. Biraja or Viraja Temple is one of the important Maha Shakthi Peetas. Here the main idol Durga Devi is worshiped as Girija (Viraja) and Lord Shiva as Jagannath. Sati’s navel fell here.

No historical record is available about the pristine glory of the great mother goddess Biraja before the great epic the Mahabharata was written. There is a reference to Virajah-Tirtha in the Vanaparva of the Mahabharata in chapter 85. Moreover the said epic reiterates that the Virajah-Tirtha was a sacred place for Vedic sacrifices where Dharma, the God of Righteousness had performed a great sacrifice. During the performance of sacrifice Rudra -Siva is said to have been accepted as an Aryan God by other Gods and the mother Earth had appeared in the form of altar. Therefore, it is but natural that the goddess Earth was worshipped as goddess Biraja of the Virajah-Tirtha, Later on. The ?igvedic earth goddess was a vaishnavite deity and so became goddess Biraja of the Virajah-Tirtha. The Mahabharata is as old as 7th-6th century B.C. as determined by the scholars. The historicity of goddess Biraja goes back to the days Mother Goddess worship of the Atharva Vedic period i.e. 13th century B.C.

She was originally worshipped in the form of an altar and later on in the form of Stambhesvari (pillar Goddess) as was the primitive practice when carving of stone; metal or wooden images were yet to come about. Most probably she was vindhyavasini and Biraja as they named her. During the Gupta rule in India in the 4th century AD, Goddess Biraja was metamorphosed in the theriomorphic form and a stone image of two-armed Mahisamardini was installed in a temple after a great Vedic sacrifice beside the river Vaitara?i. Since then she is being worshipped on the pedestal as the symbol of paramavai?navi Sakti icon. Simultaneously Nabhigaya, a great Pit? Tirtha, Isanesvara, lord Varaha and many ancillary deities were added to the Biraja tradition. We are apprised of her greatness from several copper plate grants of Durjaya, Vigraha, Dutta and Mana royal dynasties who patronised and revered the deity. During Bhaumakara rule in Odisha she was worshipped as the royal Goddess of the Bhaumakaras. During the Somavansi rule in the 10th -11th century AD, a beautiful temple for Goddess Biraja had been built by Candihar Yayati II. Biraja K?hetra was made a full-fledged Shakti pi?ha with the association of A??a Candi, A??a-Bhairava, Navadurga, Sapta Mat?ka, Trayodasa Rudra, Dvadasa Ga?esa, Sixty eight Tirthas and Causa?hi Yogini during Bhaumakara and Somavamsi period. The Somavamsis added a car festival or Rathayatra with the Biraja tradition like that of the Goddess Vindhyavasini and Sthambhesvari of mid-India. Though during the Mughal Afghan rule the Sakti worship relating to Goddess Biraja faced the ups and downs, the tradition continues undeterred till today.

Nabhi Gaya Inside Temple
There is a fathomless well in the close proximity of Goddess Biraja inside the compound which is known as Nabhikupa or Nabhigaya where pi?das are offered to the ancestors. As it is a famous Pitr-Tirtha, Hindu religious people from all over India and abroad come over here for the purpose of offering pi?das (oblations) to their ancestors in the course of their pilgrimage. The best period for offering such pindas is during the Pitr-paksa (Mahalaya) in the month of September i.e. During the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada.

Other Important temples:
The temples at Jajpur signify the architectural splendour. Brahma Kund (A holy place where Brahma did Yagna) is also present near temple. This pond also considered as Nabhi kund. There is also a temple for Sweta Varaha swamy (incarnation of Lord Vishnu as the white boar) near this temple. Jagannadh temple complex present on other sides of the bank of Vaitarini river. Siddheshwar temple is one of the oldest temple of Lord Shiva, Sapta Matruka and various other gods in Jajpur district.

Sharadiya Durga Puja is a culmination of festivals celebrated over 16 days which starts from Badrapada Krishna Paksha Ashtami night and ends on Ashwija/Ashwin Shukla Paksha Navami is the main ritual in this temple. The Pujas conducted for 16 days is called as Shodasha dinatatmika Puja. Festivals are held during Durga Puja and Kali Puja.

 

Additional Information

Accommodation facilities are available for tourists and devotees in the Biraja Panthasala beside the Biraja temple for staying. The outside visitors may opt for P.W.D. Bungalow and Circuit house in Jajpur town. Star hotels are available at Jajpur Road(30 kms), Cuttack(70 kms) and Bhubanesvara(90 kms) cities.

Every eighth and fourteenth day of the Paksha(Fortnight), Purnima (Full Moon day), Amabasya(New Moon day) and Tuesday and Thursday is the best time to visit Goddess Biraja. In the evening on those days and especially Thursday the darshan of the Goddess during the evening Aratri gives riches, manpower, cow power, wealth and ultimately salvation.

Visit the temple websites for more details. For accommodation at Jajpur temple Panthasala contact on Ph:-06728-222029.

Jajpur Bus stand is just 2.5 kms from here. Jajpur Road bus stand is 32.3 kms. Cuttak is the nearest city to Jajpur in 70 kms distance.

Jajpur K Road railway station is 31.9 kms from the temple. Cuttak is the nearest major station in 77 kms distance. These railway stations are well linked with regular train services from major cities of the country. Buses and taxis are available from Jajpur road and Cuttak cities.

Biju Patnaik International Airport is the nearest airport which is 105 kms from Jajpur.
  • 04:00 am to 1:00 pm & 03:00 pm to 10:00 pm
  • Contact Person: Temple Office
  • Contact Number: (+91) 06728 223900
www.maabiraja.com, www.sribiraja.org