Binod Bihari (Balu Bazaar) Chandi Medha – In the narrow by lanes of Binod Bihari near Naya Sarak ,Katata (Cuttack) , It is said that in the year 1512 to 1517 AD Chaitanya Deva had come to Cuttack, the capital of Gajapati Empire of Odisha and the then emperor of Odisha Gajapati Pratap Rudra Dev received him at Gadagadia Ghata situated near the river bank of Mahanadi very close to the kings palace popularly known as Barabati fort. In that year Shree Chaitanya Deva started Durga Puja at Binod Bihari temple presently known as Balu Bazaar.
Here Binod Bihari Devi’s sacred idol was installed in a small house. Thereafter the place became known as Binod Bihari which consisted of Balu Bazar, Bakharabad, Alamchand Bazar, Sahebazada Bazar and Nayasadak. Daily worship of the deity was performed in conformity with Vaishanav tradition. He stayed at Binod Bihari Temple. In the mean time autumn Durga Puja period arrived. He worshipped a brass Durga idol there. Thus it was the origin of Durga Puja in Cuttack.
Later the Thakur family began worshipping of the clay idol. The tradition contiued till date. It would continue as long as the Odia civilisation lasts. Akshaya Kumar Banerjee’s ancestors were true Vaishnavites. They had also visited Puri. But while returning they settled along the Kathajodi river in the same place Binod Bihari.
In 1517 AD the clay idol making evolved from the second day of the birth day of Lord Krishna emulating the Bengal Methodology. The whole responsibility lied on the Banerjee family from this day till immersion of the idols. The tradition remains in tact even now and generation after generation the Benarjee family rules the roost. Goddess Durga of Binod Bihari was thus addressed as the ‘Big Sister’.
Later five Puja Pendals were erected, clay idols installed and worshipped. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had introduced community Durga Puja in Odia Bazar. The Durga Puja has gone through many a transformation over the centuries and the zeal ramains undiminished, rather more visible.
– With References from Antiquity of Durga Puja by Shri Om Prakash , Worship of Goddess Durga in Cuttack – Shri Parikhit Mishra