Remuna, 9-km east of Balasore, Orissa
Presiding Deities: Lord Krishna
Renovated By: Rasikananda
Kshira Chora Gopinath temple is located in Remuna. It is a small
town located 9-km east of Balasore, about halfway between Calcutta
and Puri. The name "Remuna" is derived from the word "Ramaniya"
which means very beautiful.
is said that Sri Rama carved 'Gopinath' with His arrow and that
Sita worshiped this deity in Chitrakut. King Langula Narasingha
Dev, the king of Orissa, brought this Deity to Remuna in the 13th
century from Chitrakut. This king also arranged to have dug the
two big tanks, 'Brajapokhari' and 'Kutapokhari'.
Sri Gopinatha is the Deity who stole sweet-rice for 'Madhavendra
Puri'. Being worshiped on the altar with Sri Gopinatha are Sri 'Madana
Mohana', Sri 'Govinda', 'Radha-Rasabihari', and 'Chaitanya Mahaprabhu'
with Lord 'Jagannatha' on one side and numerous 'Shalagram-Shilas'
on the other side.
Gopinatha, flanked by Sri Govinda and Sri Madana Mohana, is made
of black stone. Sri Gopinatha stands in bas-relief. Govinda and
Madana Mohana, who were brought from Vrindavana in about 1938 by
a devotee named "Chaitanya Dasa Babaji", are free standing.
can get delicious 'Kshira' here call 'Amrita-Keli'. The Gopinatha
Kshira is a preparation of condensed milk, sugar, and cream, with
a sprinkling of raisins. It comes in pots of various sizes, which
are personally tasted by Lord Gopinatha Himself. Sri Gopinatha is
known as "Kshira Chora Gopinatha" because He stole and
hid a pot of 'Kshira' out of love for Madhavendra Puri. 'Chora'
'Rasikananda' renovated the present temple, after the prior temple
built by king 'Gajapati' Maharaja 'Langula Deva' was destroyed by
Muslim invaders. Rasikananda found the Gopinatha Deity in a pond
4-km from the temple, where Gopinatha was hidden to protect him
from being destroyed by the Muslim king. Rasikananda was the foremost
disciple of 'Syamananda', who helped transport the important writings
of the 'Goswamis' from Vrindavana to Bengal. The 'Samadhi' tomb
of Rasikananda 'Prabhu' is near the temple.
the temple room one will find many pictures of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's
pastimes, as well as a picture of the 'Pancatattva' over the main
'Pujaris' every morning bathe and dress the Deities in full view
of the congregated devotees. Each day a few hundred pilgrims come
to this temple, and on Sundays up to a thousand people visit. The
temple is located about a half a km from the village of Remuna.
Western devotees are allowed in the temple.
"Chandana-Yatra", the Deities are smeared with cooling
sandalwood pulp ('Chandana'). The temple priests apply 'Chandana'
to the chest of the temples' three Krishna Deities-Madana-Mohana,
Govinda and Gopinatha. On 'Aksayatritiya' the Deities' entire bodies
are smeared with sandalwood.
Legend Of The Deity
Over 500 years ago Madhavendra Puri was going to Puri to get some
scented sandalwood to bring to his Sri Gopal Deity in Vrindavana.
When he stopped at Remuna and saw Sri Gopinath, his heart was filled
with devotion and joy. When he saw the delicious 'Kshira' offered
to the Deity he desired to taste some so he could offer the same
preparation to "Sri Gopal". Madhavendra Puri would only
accept food that was offered to him. Because he was not offered
any of the 'Kshira' he left the temple without tasting it.
finishing the worship to Gopinath the 'Pujari' took rest. In a dream
Gopinath told him to get up and take the pot of 'Kshira' that He
had hidden under His garments and to give it to Madhavendra Puri.
The 'Pujari' got up and found the sweet rice and brought it to Madhavendra
Puri. The 'Pujari' told him "For you Sri Gopinath has stolen
'Kshira'. There is no other fortunate man like you." This is
how the Deity got the name Kshira Chora Gopinath.
Puri established an Ashram in Remuna and stayed there for some time.
The wooden sandals of Madhavendra Puri are worshiped in this Ashram.
Lord Chaitanya came here, flowers from the body of the Deity fell
down on His head. Sri Chaitanya then danced in overwhelming joy.
In the area the other places one can visit include the Samadhi of
Madhavendra Puri, the Samadhi of 'Rasikananda Prabhu' (inside the
Gopinatha temple compound), and a Shiva temple where "Gargamuni"
is said to have had his ashram. Near the Gopinatha temple there
is a Jagannatha temple and a few other temples.
TO GET THERE
Rail: The nearest train junction to Remuna is at Balasore,
which is the first major town in Orissa coming from Calcutta. One
can get a night train from Calcutta that stops in Balasore in the
early morning hours. From there one can get a taxi or bus to Remuna.
If one has arrived Remuna in the morning, one can see the Deities
and then catch a night train to Puri.
There are regular buses from Balasore to Remuna.
Remuna is a very small village, so there are not many places to
stay. There is a small guesthouse near the temple that has a few
basic rooms with private bath. There is a guesthouse built by a
religious lady with fairly nice facilities for those who want to
stay overnight in Remuna to see the Deities. There is a good assortment
of hotels in the nearby towns of Balasore and Chandipur.
The main temple structure is 65m (214 feet) high and is built
on elevated ground, which makes it look even larger and adds
to the imposing impression you get as you first come within
sight of the temple. The temple complex comprises an area
of 10.7 acres and is enclosed by two rectangular walls. The
outer enclosure is called "Meghanada Prachira".
A product of the accumulated and crystallized experience of
several centuries, the temple of Lingaraja is the quintessence
of Orissan architecture. In the elegance of its proportions
and the richness of its surface -treatment, it is one of the
most finished and refined manifestations of the temple-architecture
in India. ...