A Citizens' Initiative To Create Love For Heritage & Culture. The Millenium City is a rich tapestry of art,handloom,handicrafts and performing arts. The Silver City has been at the centre of human civilsation for centuries and has been the hub of trade , commerce and maritime activities.
Shri SiddhiVinayak , Kali Gali , Cuttack , Odisha sits on Shri Jajati Keshari II Singhasana ( Royal Throne) 1025 – 1040. A journey to discover this masterpiece , an ancient royal throne belonging King Jajati Keshari -II (1025-1040) in the heart of Cuttack City in Kali Gali – Shri Siddhi Vinayak Temple has been an extremely exciting and a fulfilling and enriching experience .
We came across a very detailed research paper written by Shri Deepak Bhattacharya on the Keshari Dynasty Contributions and in particular about this Royal Throne. We would like thank him for this extensive work , somehow this has not received the lime light it deserves
A Capital City for 1000 years and yes a Royal Throne very well preserved to complete the statement . And now it has an extremely well deserved occupant to keep it intact and its sanctity for years to come. This is equally an extremely proud moment for all us who are connected to the place and its history.
Shri Siddhi Vinayaka was established by Raghujee Bhonsle (1695 -1755) during Maratha rule in Orissa. Raghujee is said to have given land & financial grant . The Temple Complex has a ekaka sevayat (one family) system, having the title of Dixit of Kasyapa gotra. We met with Shri Priyajit Dixit , who is continues the family tradition.
The 2nd day tour began with five members – Ashish , Myself , Dilip Bhai , Dipak Bhai and Shibaji Babu . Nishi and his Son had some commitments and Hitesh couldn’t continue due some important work his end . Sun was already up and hitting us hard at 7:30 am in the morning , yet the spirit in each of us was to complete the day as much as we can . A place ensconced in a tiny village near Ansupa lake was our next attraction .
A surprise awaiting us was Sri Trutiyadeva Temple , 14th Century built by the Gangas , dedicated to Lord Jagannath , his brother Baldev and Sister Subhadra . A monument so far which has remained intact , despite being next to the river Mahanadi at Subarnapur Village , near Ansupa Lake . A stunning piece of Kalingan Architecture , Probably one of most closest replica of Jagannath temple in Puri – and very well preserved . This was perhaps the 5th temple built by Ganga Kings on the Kataka side . A Rekha vimana and pidha jagamohana of Kalingan order and very complete. Gorgeously decorated with architectural motifs such askhakharamundis in talajangha, pidhamundis in the uparajangha, and rekhamundi designs in talagarbhika. The maithuna images mostly rajapana scenes are profusely carved in the jagamohana. Animals procession, with musicians also found on the jagamohana entrance. Seeing the Triad inside the sanctum was bliss.
Tour of Salepur & Choudwar – It was a morning of excitement and lots of anticipation, when collectively 8 Heritage Enthusiastic individuals’ took and endeavour to see some of the ancient treasures of Undivided Cuttack . The ever consuming Summer heat and yet the brave enthusiasts were simple unstoppable .
This day will go down the memory lane as discovering rich antiquities and artefacts and building the initiative and foundation for Cuttack Heritage Walks . Shri Dipak Samantarai , Shri Dilip Das, Shri Shibaji Nayak, Shri Hitesh Seth, Shri Nishikant Mohanty , Master Abhigyan Mohanty , Shri Ashish Sarangi and Myself. An age group spread from 14 years to 72 years and what a group it was indeed.
Our first stop – was Sri Chateswara Temple , A 13th Century built by the Gangas in Kishnapur Village near Salepur. The Stone Inscription by Shri Ananga Bhima Deva – III well kept , chronicled with the achievements and victories he made as the Ruler of Kalinga from 1211 A.D. While he thwarted the enemies in Bengal and drove them away, he had swiftly conquered the Kalachuris in the West and built a strong alliance , expanded his Kingdom until Rajamundry in the South .
On the basis of a number of detached sculptures of different faiths like Saivite and Sakta, the original temple can be assigned to the Eastern Ganga dynasty rule during 12th Century AD. A miniature four- armed Vishnu, broken images of Chamunda, Surya and Buddha, Udyotasimha, Nandi, miniature temple and other architectural members.The temple is pancharatha on plan and the bada has multi-segmented horizontal mouldings in elevation.
On a Sunday morning of 13th December , 27 Heritage Enthusiasts met at the Odisha State Maritime Museum , Jobra. With a very interesting itinerary spread from visiting the famous Bikalananda Kar’s Rasagola factory in Salepur followed by visit to some of the ancient heritage sites and Utkala Gauraba Sri Madhusudan Das’s Birthplace.
The first stop at the quintessential Bikalananda Kar’s Shop at Salepur , and meeting the newest 3rd generation entrepreneurs . CHW members met with Two Young and Bright Odia Entrepreneurs Miss Sibani Kar and Miss Sai Priya Kar, initially before starting the Heritage Trail . They are now managing the the “Bikalananda Kar’s Rasagola ” Business . Both of them conducted the factory tours and were explained in details of the current processing set up.
All the members hosted by Two Sisters for a sumptuous breakfast and treat of Rasagolas . “Salepur Rasagola” Officially became the part of our food heritage trail.
Cuttack Heritage Walks, an initiative by people of Cuttack to promote heritage sites and monuments in this historical city, is going to restart this month after a gap of seven months. The walk was suspended in March this year following nation-wide lockdown due to Covid-19 spread.
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