Odisha is the only state in our country which values Shakti or feminine power since ancient times. The worshippers of Shakti known as ‘Shaktas’ have established many temples on this land dedicated to many hindu goddesses. Each temple is backed by a rich heritage as old as thousands of years and each stone speaks of our ancient culture and traditions.
The Bhattarika temple is located in an obscure village of Sasanga in the district of Cuttack, Odisha. It is a significant destination in Odisha located on the banks of the mighty Mahanadi River. At the foothill of Ratnagiri, this beautiful temple is surrounded by magnificent sights of rock caves and vast river plains.
The making of the temple dates all the way back to the 6th century AD. This Shaktipeeth was renovated by many local kings and queens since then, but the sanctity of the holy shrine has still remained the same.
As per a famous mythological legend, Lord Parshuram had prayed to goddess Durga at this very place. While he was wondering about the hills, his axe fell all of a sudden. He sensed some presence of divine power and carved an image of Durga on a stone with his arrow.
He worshipped the stone and meditated for years in order to defeat Sahashrajuna. Goddess Durga appeared before him and blessed him for victory. Hence, the place is also called as ‘Parshuram Pith’ by locals.
The word ‘Bhattarika’ itself means Slayer of the Kshatriyas. According to another folklore, Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshman used to pray to Goddess Bhattarika during their exile. The footprints of the trio are still worshipped in the temple premises.
It is believed that later Goddess Bhattarika became the presiding deity of Badamba royal household. Lord Krishna, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu is believed to be a regular devotee of the goddess during his era. Rani Satyabhama and Arjun had also worshipped Devi according to the Hindu mythology.
The worshippers of this temple are not Brahmins, which signifies the folk characteristics of the practices in temples. The temple opens its gate at 3 AM in the morning during a peaceful environment. The goddess is offered fish, khichdi and pitha by the devotees every day. The devotees mostly include the fishermen and local traders.
This peeth also holds a flagship annual festival, which lasts for 18 days from Mulashtami to Dussehra. This festival is held between September and October for which thousands of believers flock from different parts of the country.
The temple is surrounded by trees, hillocks, and river valley which adds to the serenity of this place. One can feel the roaring waves of Mahanadi and chirping sounds of the birds simultaneously at heart. The beautiful sunset, the tranquillity of the place is the perfect medication for our chaotic life.
There are also some steep steps leading to the top of the hill on the back. A visitor will be lost in the enchanting views of the mini forest and ancient caves whose stories are yet to be told. The stone steps lay by a noteworthy rock-cut cave with a beautiful carving of Lord Hanuman. The local government has built some sheds for the tourists to make them enjoy the reverberating sounds of Nature.
How to reach Bhattarika temple
The place is located at a distance of 95 kms from Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha. Taxi service is available all the time in a year. Buses and trains can be boarded from either Cuttack or Bhubaneswar to Badamba.
The nearest railway station is Cuttack and the nearest airport is Biju Patnaik International Airport of Bhubaneswar. The best time for pilgrimage is between August to February. It is not advised to visit the temple during floods or cyclones.
The Bhattarika Shaktipeeth is charming in its own way. It has provided solace to people for many years, witnessing every event taking place in time. This place is a must-visit for those who seek divinity and nature in one place. The goddess Bhattarika is worshipped for power, but the sanctum provides peace of mind and heart.
Bhattarika peeth is a perfect destination to immerse ourselves in light of blessings of the goddess and to forget all the petty problems in life.