Biraja Temple

Biraja Temple
Biraja Temple

Biraja or Viraja Kshetra Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located in the Jajpur district of Odisha, India. This stunning structure was erected during the 13th century and is situated 125 KM north from Bhubaneswar. The primary idol worshipped at this sacred location is Devi Durga who goes by the name Viraja. Her divine figure holds a spear that pierces Mahishasura’s chest while her other hand pulls his tail; standing atop him with one leg on a lion and one foot on his torso.The Mahishasura is often depicted as a buffalo rather than an ordinary human demon. The Devi’s crown symbolizes Ganesha, the crescent moon, and the Shivalinga. Spread over a large area, this temple contains numerous Shiva Linga statues alongside other deities – making it also known by its alternative names of Viraja Kshetra or Biraja Peetha. According to Skanda Purana utkala khanda , visiting pilgrims are said to have all their rajo gunas washed away in this holy place – hence why it has come to be referred to as Viraja or Biraja kshetra!

Biraja Kshetra is a famous pilgrimage site that has been noted in the Sanskrit Mahabharata. The temple of Goddess Biraja is regarded to be one of India’s 51 Shakti Pithas, and legend says it was where Sati’s navel fell – also known as Navigaya.

Celebrating the Goddess Biraja, a two-armed Mahisamardini (Slayer of Buffalo Demon), this temple was aptly named Biraja Kshetra. It is said that any who visit here receive salvation for seven generations of their ancestors! Representing an unparalleled iconography in India, its remarkable idol stands out as the only one with two hands among all other Mahisamardini idols throughout the country.

The glorious Biraja temple was built in the 11th Century AD during Somavamsi rule, and though it served as a presiding deity for the Bhaumakaras dynasty, its sanctity was desecrated by Afghan invaders in 1568. It wasn’t until Sudarshan Mohapatra of Zamindar restored this sacred place to its former glory in the 19th Century that today we can still admire its magnificence – which not only is comprised of multiple subsidiary temples each with an intertwined narrative but also stands resolute to this day.

As the legend of Biraja Temple, as per Shakti Pithas goes, Lord Vishnu severed Goddess Sati’s body into 51 pieces in an attempt to stop Lord Shiva’s destructive dance (Tandav Nritya), with her navel landing where the temple now stands. Spanning a vast area and boasting 108 stunningly crafted Shivalingas within its premises, this historic site is further embellished by splendid carvings that adorn its walls from various eras.

By Air
The closest airport is located 125 kilometers away.

By Train
J K Road is the closest railway station, situated 30 kilometers away.

By Road
Jajpur Town

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