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Khira Chora Gopinath Temple: One of Lord Krishna’s Abodes in Odisha

The Khirachora Gopinath Shrine is a beautiful temple in Remuna; a place just located at a distance of 9 km in the eastern side of Baleshwar in the state of Odisha. It is the temple of Lord Krishna. Visitors admire this magnificent temple, the name of which originated from the word ‘Ramanya,’ meaning attractive or good-looking.

The main deity here is Sri Gopinath, who stole sweet rice for ‘Madhavendra Puri’ . The other altars next to Gopinath, Sri Govinda, Sri Madan Mohan, Sri Radha-Rasbihari and the famous Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, together with Lord Jagannath, can be seen here by the visitors.The visitors also get to see a number of Shila gramas- Shilas. 

A devotee named Chaitanya Dasa Babaji carried in the free standing Govinda and Madana Mohana. he got them from  Vrindavana in the year 1938 . Sri Gopinath is built of black Stone, flanked on the sides with Sri Madan Mohana and Sri Govinda. 

Temple inside view
courtesy Wikipedia

History of Khirachora Gopinath Temple 

The legends behind the origin of Lord Gopinath are varied. 

The first legend lays down that, in the Tretaya Yug, Shri Ramachandra had been in exile along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman.When, one day, Shri Rama was in Dandakaranya watching a cowman tend to his cows, he smiled a very little bit. On seeing her husband smile, Sita inquisitively asked the reason for the smile.

Rama stated that he will be born as Lord Krishna in the Dwapar Yug, and likewise tend to the cows on the banks of the Yamuna river. Upon hearing this prediction, Sita insisted that Rama show her a picture of Lord Krishna.Lord Rama graved an image of Shri Krishna on a black granite stone lying over there at the desire of goddess Sita. It came into life as soon as the goddess Sita laid her hands on the image. With the passing of time, King Langula Narasimha Deva found this carved stone and installed it in Remuna. This image was worshipped as Lord Gopinath from that day onwards.

Another legend tells the tale that Remuna got its name from the Ramanya, or a beautiful landscape. It was such a beautiful place that, in a dream, Lord Gopinath instructed King Langula Narasimha Deva that he would like to be worshipped there. The King obeyed the instructions and built a temple at the very site, naming it Shri Gopinath Mandir.

Lord Srikrishna as Madanmohan, Gopinath and Govinda in Khirachora Gopinatha temple.
Lord Srikrishna as Madanmohan, Gopinath and Govinda in Khirachora Gopinatha temple. (courtesy Wikipedia)

Over time, the guru Ishwarpuri of Shri Chaitanya and the guru Shri Madhavendrapuri of Ishwarpuri came to Remuna and ultimately the image produced in the temple was christened Sri Gopinath. Thus this place gained enormous popularity throughout India.

In the third legend, according to the mythology, Gopinath was carved by an arrow of Sri Rama, which was worshipped by Maa Sita, wife of Sri Rama, in Chitrakoot. Langula Narasingha Dev transferred this god to Remuna from Chitrakut; during the 13th century. The king dug two major tanks alongside that; popularly known as Bajra Pokhari and Kutapokhari.

The tale says Madhavendra Puri was on the way to Puri more than 500 years ago to get some scented sandalwood, for Vrindavana’s Deity Sri Gopal. But he stopped in Gopinath at Remuna for some time, and was very happy to see Gopinath. When he saw Kshira ‘s preparation, then he wanted to taste that so he could easily complete Kshira ‘s preparation for Sri Gopal.

Madhevendra Puri accepted only that food, which was offered to him. But, Kshira was not given to him and thus he did not find the taste and left the temple. When the Pujari slept after Lord Krishna or Sri Gopinath ‘s daily worship, then Sri Gopinath instructed the Pujari in his dream to wake up and bring the Kshira; which was hidden under his clothes for Madhvendra Puri by the God himself.

Temple outside view
Temple outside view (courtesy Wikipedia)
Khira Bhoga
Khira Bhoga (courtesy Odisha Tourism Places)

The pujari took the Kshira under God’s robe and gave it to Madhvendra Puri. The place began to be known as Khirachora Gopinath because it was concealed by Sri Gopinath himself, and thus. Madhvendra Puri stayed here in an Ashram for a while; founded by him. These days Pujaris worships the sandalwood brought by him.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came and worshiped Lord Gopinath while he was doing so; the Deity body flowers dropped upon Chaitanya ‘s head. The latter took this as a sign that the Lord Gopinath was blessed, and danced with joy.

Significance of Khirachora Gopinath Temple

Beautiful idols of Lord Krishna and others are worshipped by the pujari in the temple.

The people or the visitors can easily get ‘Kshira’ here, which is popularly known as Amrita-Keli here. 

Amruta Keli (courtesy Wikimedia)

This Kshira is prepared with the help of condensed milk and some cream and sugar. It also includes some raisins; to add flavour. This is known as the prepared Kshira which Lord Gopinath tasted. The Kshira comes to the Lord in earthen pots of various sizes. Sri Gopinath is well known as Kshira Chora by people, since he stole a pot of Kshira and hid it for Madhvendra Puri.

Best time to visit the temple

Winter is the perfect time to visit Remuna and its vicinities. From October to February, tourists can comfortably enjoy the areas, as the temperature is between 15 degrees Celsius and 45 degrees C.

Stays near the Temple

Visitors who want to stay in Remuna have a guest house as an option but it has small rooms with attached bathrooms. A group of religious ladies conceived a guest house, and you can choose to stay there . Besides that, there are many hotels in Balasore and the visitors can stay easily according to their needs and budget.

Overall, a trip to the Khirachora Gopinath Shrine is always a perfect choice for both religious and curious travellers. Experiencing & loving the old systems and Odisha culture is definitely a treat.

How to reach Khirachora Gopinath Temple

Roadways – As road travel facilities are easily linked, visitors can easily visit by road. There are various bus services running from Balasore to Remuna. 

Train Ways- The closest railway station to Remuna is the Baleshwar Railway Station. Thus visitors can easily travel to the temple area from the station. 

Airways- The nearest international airport is Kolkata, tourists from other countries can easily come and catch a connecting flight to Bhubaneswar Airport.

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