A 15th-century temple and a symbol of the ancient heritage of Kalinga, Maa Mangala Temple is located in Kakatpur, Odisha. The temple is situated at the eastern bank holy river “The Prachi”, which was earlier named as Saraswati.
Closer to the twin city Cuttack and Bhubaneswar this temple is easily reachable, considering an easy guided path.
“Maa Mangala” is a Hindu goddess who is one of the manifestations of “SHAKTI”.The worship of the goddess is a part of the culture of Odisha. Before she was worshiped as goddess “Tara” by Buddhist monks. But when the deity was established at Kakatpur, Hindus started worshiping her as the manifestations of Goddess Durga.
Although there is no written proof, many believe that the idol of Kakatpur Mangala was brought to Odisha by a Sadhaba (Merchants who went overseas for business. Centuries ago Odisha had good business relationships with islands like singhala, java sumatra etc.
Ravan, the demon head from those islands was believed to have been worshipping Goddess Mangala with great devotion and became the most powerful by the blessing of the deity.
After Lord Rama killed Ravana in battle the deity is said to have been traded later in time. An Odia merchant hence brought the deity to Odisha. Moreover, this legend has no solid evidence of being accurate, it is only a story that many locals believe.
On the other hand, if we look at the culture & curving style of Odisha & compare it to the curving style of the goddess, no doubt the curving style is “Utkaliyas”.
It is believed by the locals of Kakatpur village that Goddess Mangala kept herself hidden under the deep water of river Prachi. According to their legend, once a boatman was sailing his boat across river Prachi but because the river was outpouring and flooded then, he was unable to sail his boat to the middle of the river.
He spent the entire day trying to sail but kept failing. The very next morning, before dawn; in his dream, he saw Goddess Mangala asking him to recover her from the water and establish her in the nearby Mangalapur village.
The boatman then dived into the water and found the idol of the deity in the water bed.
Connection to Lord Jagannath
The Idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra are replaced during the Nabakalebara rites every 12-19 years. During this festival, the priests of the Puri Jagannath temple worship at Maa Mangala in the Kakatpur temple for divine guidance.
The goddess appears in their dreams and reveals the location of the three divine Daru Bramha trees from which idols of the deities are supposed to be made.
Jhamu Yatra is the famous festival at Kakatpur which generally falls in the month of Chaitra (April). On this occasion, a large no. of Visitors gather at Kakatpur to witness the miracles of firewalking Prasad Sevanat the Temple.
Kaka in Odia means “Crow” and Atka means “Detained”; together they make “Kaka-atka” which is the old name of this place. Later the ‘pur’ was indeed and it became Kakatpur.
In Odisha, it is superstitious that when a crow cries one must not move out of their house as it is believed to be a sign of danger. Hence, this place describes itself as a stay-in; in short, once one is here may not just pass by but stay for some time and move ahead with a more refreshed mind.
The deity, therefore, is called Kakatpur Mangala, considering that she is believed to be the goddess of that village who protects and provides prosperity to the people of Kakatpur.