architecture

Khiching

Situated in the district of Mayurbhanj, approx. 25 km from sub-divisional headquarters town of Karanjia and 50 km from the district of Keonjhar, Khiching is one of the unique place embodying the glorious history of this region.   The monuments of Khiching represent one of the highest points of the sculpture tradition of this region with extraordinary craftsmanship. The glimpse of the same can be seen while travelling to the Maa Kichakeshwari Temple from Keonjhar via Chadeibhol. The artisans in this village still engaged in making the beautiful sculpture in blue fine-grained chlorite/ black stone. The Sal forests along the meandering roads and paddy fields makes a picturesque view while travelling in this region.

The Major attraction of this place is the Kichakeshwari Temple of Hindu Goddess Chamunda-Kali. The temple made of chlorite, is architecturally brilliant and well carved from its outer surface and unique of its kind in India. This temple is one of the most impressive temple of Kalinga architecture. The exteriors of temple are highly decorated, with magnificent sculptors like nayakas, naga-nagin, Ganesha, Kirtimukha, Khakharamundi and many other divine god and goddess. The huge pillars sculpted with Nagin are unique heritage of this temple. The interior is single roomed where the Goddess deity is present and worshipped. The shrine contains a magnificent large ten-armed skeletal image of Chamunda-Kali.

Goddess Kichakeshwari the ishtadevata and kuladevi of Bhanj dynasty, was also the State deity of Princely State of Mayurbhanj ruled by them.

The temple was constructed during the year 920/925.King of Mayurbhanj, Maharaja Pratap Chandra Bhanjdeo reconstructed the temple in the year 1934 spending an approximate amount of Rupees 85000.00 during that time. Height of the temple is 100 ft. (30 m) and total area is 1764sq.ft .

There is a museum constructed by Maharaja Purna Chandra Bhanjdeo in the year 1922, second oldest museum in the state of Odisha. During the time of excavation by Archaeological Survey of India in the year 1908 several images of Gods and Goddess where found including the images of Buddha. These are preserved in the Museum. The antiquities unearthed from the sites around the Kichakeshwari temple and other places adjoining the area suggest that under the early Bhanja rulers, Khiching was a prosperous town where Brahmanism, Buddhism, and Jainism flourished side by side.

There are also ruins of two fortified palaces of Khiching. The more extensive one on the river Khairabandhan is now known as Viratgarh, and the other, Kichakagarh, named after the well-known character in the Mahabharat. The site of Viratgarh was excavated and the brick remains unearthed along with a number of antiquities such as pottery, terracotta figurines, stone images, beads, pieces of gold and seals. The discovery of a Kushan coin pushes the history of place to the second century AD.

The major festival in Khiching is Shivarathri, which is celebrated over seven days.

May be a more needs to be explored in and around this place and some more attention needs to be provided to unearth the richness of its culture and history.

https://www.ajitkumarmajhi.com/

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