Kishakeshwari Templeis temple of Hindu Goddess Chamunda alias Kali located in Khiching, which was the ancient capital of the Bhanja rulers, located about 205 km from Balasore and 150 km from Baripada in the Mayurbhanj district of north Orissa.The largest temple of the town is dedicated to Goddess Kichakeswari, the family goddess of the ruling chiefs of Mayurbhanj. The Goddess Kiscakeshwari was not only which was not only ishtadevata of Bhanj dynasty but also the State deity.The temple, made of chlorite, is architecturally brilliant and well carved from its outer surface. This temple is one of the most impressive temple of Kalinga architecture.
The style of the temple is contemporary of the Brahmeshwara and the Lingaraj temples of Bhubaneswar. Height of the temple is 100 feet (30 m) and total area is 1,764 square feet (163.9 m2).The original temple was built somewhere in the 7th or the 8th century old and was in bad shape as it had fallen in hands of vandals. However, the erstwhile and last ruler of Princely State of Mayurbhanj, Maharaja Pratap Chandra Bhanj Deo was appalled of its state.
The temple is made up of black chlorite which faces towards the east and consists of rekha vimana and stands over a high platform of 1.20 meters. The interior is single roomed where the Goddess deity is present and worshipped. The exteriors of temple is highly decorated, with magnificent sculptors like nayakas, naga-nagin, Ganesha, Kirtimukha, Khakharamundi and other divine god and goddess. The huge pillars sculpted with Nagin are unique heritage of this temple. The shrine contains a large ten-armed fearsome skeletal image of Chamunda-Kali with striking veins, ribs and sunken belly, wearing a garland of skulls and seated over a dead body.
Best time to visit: Oct to Feb
Open Time: 5.Am-10.Pm
Popular Cuisine: Local Food
Attractions: Kalinga architecture of temple, small park inside the campus
Nearest Bus Stop: Karanjia
Nearest Railway Station: Baripada
Travel Options: Taxi, Bus, Train
Nearest town: Khiching
Distance from Bhubaneswar: 215 km