This beautiful Khirachora Gopinath Temple in Remuna is located 9km east of Balasore about halfway between Kolkata and Puri. The name “Remuna” comes from the word “Ramaniya” which means very good looking.
This is a temple of Lord Krishna with a history attached to it, Sri Gopinath is made by black stone, edged by Sri Madan Mohana and Sri Govinda. “Khirachora” in Odia means ‘stealer of Milk’ and “Gopinath” means the ‘Divine companion of Gopis’; this is referred to as child Krishna’s love for milk and milk products.
Lord Krishna is known by the name of Khira Chora because he once stole and hid a pot of khira (milk) out of love for Madhavendra Puri, or as the legend says. It’s been about 500 years, a history without any written proof is being sung by the priests of this temple and is believed by the locals and devotees.
According to the legend; several years ago a Madhavendra Puri, while on his journey to Puri to buy some sandalwood for his Gopal in Vrindavan, made a stop at this temple. Mesmerized by the beauty of the idol, in the corridor from where the devotees generally admired the deity, he chanted and danced.
Later, he asked a priest of the temple about what type of food is offered to Lord Gopinath here. He thought if he knew, he would prepare the same food for his Lord Gopal of Vrindavan. As both the lords are basically the same god with two different names, their choices are supposed to be similar as well.
The brahmana priest said: “In the evening the Deity is offered sweet rice in twelve earthen pots. Because the taste is as good as nectar, it is named Amruta Keli. While inquiring about the food the saint’s eyes fell on the prepared food and he desired to taste it. Realizing it he cried that he had committed the sin of desiring to taste the god’s food before it was presented to god.
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After offering prayers to Lord Gopinatha the Pujari (priest) went to rest. In his dream, he saw Gopinath advising him to get up and take the pot of khira that he had hidden under his garments and to give it to Madhavendra Puri. The Pujari got up, found the sweet, and brought it to Madhavendra Puri.
The Pujari told him For you Sri Gopinatha has stolen khira. There is no other fortunate man like you. This is how the deity got the name “Khira Chora Gopinatha”. ‘Khira’ means milk, and ‘Chora’ means thief.
One can taste the delicious khira here called Amrita Keli. The Gopinatha khira is prepared with homemade milk, sugar and cream with a sprinkle of raisins which come in pots and used as Prasad to Sri Gopinatha.
The wall painting of this temple is simply fascinating with the entire atmosphere having a divine feeling, devotees from all around come to this shrine.