One of the highly revered and the oldest temples in Odisha is the Cuttack Chandi Temple. In the downtown of the city of Cuttack, the temple is comfortably located nearby the banks of River Mahanadi. Although small yet this beautiful temple is dedicated to goddess Shakti who is placed here as Cuttack Chandi. Every year, the temple witnesses lakhs of devotees that come here from every corner of the country to perform the pilgrimage. Moreover, the history of this temple is still not known but the stories and legends associated with the shrine date back to late Hansa Panda - the purohit of then Kanika Raja of the city. As per the legend, he used to graze sheep and cattle in the land. One day while he was resting on the pile of a dry mud, he experienced an odd feeling and later that same night goddess Chandika came into his dream and asked him to take her out of the land.
He narrated the whole incident to the Kanika King who then ordered his workers to perform an excavation operation at that place. On digging up the place, 40 bullock carts of red sindoor along with an idol of goddess Katak Chandi were found. In that respect, a temple was built on the same place. In the hearts of the local devotees, the presiding deity if residing as The Living Goddess. Today this famous temple in Cuttack observes a 16-day long Durga Puja which is also the prominent festival of this beautiful shrine. The festival marks its beginning on the day of Ashwin Krishna Ashtami and continues till Shukla Navami and Vijayadashami. During this time, the temple receives the maximum number of pilgrims which also include some international tourists. Another famous festival of this temple is Kali Puja which is also celebrated with much zeal and ardour in Cuttack Chandi Temple.