Some 100 km north of Bhubaneswar, there lies an ancient Hindu shrine in Jajpur, Biraja Temple also known as Viraja Kshetra. Said to be built during the 13th-century, the temple worships the Goddess Durga who is manifested here as Goddess Girija (Viraja). Inside the temple, there is an idol of Goddess Durga, who used to mount on the lion’s back. having two hands. In one hand, she has a spear piercing the chest of Mahishasura (depicted as a buffalo) and pulls the tail with another hand. Besides, it also has idols of other deities including various Shiva lingas.
The temple is not just a part of 51 Shakti Pithas but also has its mention in Skanda Purana (an ancient scripture) where it is described as the place which cleanses pilgrims, and hence, it is one of the most-visited pilgrimage sites in Odisha. Sharadiya Durga Puja is the major festival of this temple that is celebrated on Krishna Paksha Ashtami. Thousands of devotees from every corner of the country flock here just to celebrate this festival at Biraja Temple. Along with that, devotees can also be seen performing the rituals of ‘Pind Daan’ here in the temple.
History and Architecture of the Temple
As per Shakti Pithas, the legend of Biraja Temple goes like that the navel of Goddess Sati (Lord Shiva’s wife) fell here when Lord Vishnu severed her body into 51 pieces to stop Lord Shiva’s destruction dance (Tandav Nritya). Since the temple sprawls over a large thus it includes around 108 Shiva Lingas in the premises. Also, on the walls of the temple, there are magnificently carved sculptures from various eras.
5:30 AM to 9:30 PM
Best Time to Visit
The months of winter (October-March) are considered as the best time to visit Biraja Temple in Jajpur. Through the winter season, there remains a pleasant weather which makes it easy for travellers to explore the attractions of the district.
Nearby Tourist Attractions
- Chhatia Matha
- Jagannath Temple
- Mahavinayak Temple