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Bhattarika, A Jewel by The Side of The Mahanadi

Our group’s history with Badamba is an old one. One of our numbers hails from the neighbourhood and there have been trips to the place all through college and beyond. Situated about 100 kms from Bhubaneshwar by road and about 75 km from Nayagarh, this old town is close to quite a number of temples. 

Our latest trip began with an invitation to attend the Boita-Bandana (Boat Worship) festival held at Ratapat near Badamba. We decided to attend on the last day of the festival which is held on Kartik Purnima (23rd November 2018). So we started off from Bhubaneshwar on the day before at 8 in the morning. Our route started off Nandankanan Zoo. We travelled north off the new Mundali bridge but decided to return back to take the bridge across the Mahanadi on the Haldia-Talabasta Road. One the way we came across Devi-Dwara.

In earlier days Devi-Dwara used to be the spot for scenic shots of the Mahanadi river for Odia filmmakers but nowadays very few people visit this place, most preferring the nearby Charchika Temple or Anshupa Lake.

From Devi-Dwara we went straight to Kesabareni near Badamba to rest. In the evening we drove up to Bhattarika at the Mahanadi shore to visit the temple there. We took many photos, some of which you can see here.

According to local legends, this temple was established by Parashurama who prayed to the Goddess Durga while facing certain defeat by Saharasjuna. The goddess, pleased with his prayer, appeared on this place to grant him his desired boon. It is said that Parashurama carved the idol of Maa Bhattarika using his arrow point and established this pitha.

In Ramayana, Rama, Sita and Lakshamana prayed to Maa Bhattarika here before continuing to Panchavati. The Mankadagadia hill on the other side of the Mahanadi is a famous pilgrimage spot for the foot marks of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana.

As light began to fade we went down the hill and returned to Kesabareni and turned in for the night. Thus ended our first day of the trip. The next day was Kartik Purnima and the last day of the Boita-Bandana festival and there were a lot of places to visit.

Please wait for the next post for the events of the second and third day. Meanwhile feel free to comment and like this post.

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