Maa Biraja Devi Temple, Jajpur, Odisha

Maa Biraja TempleThe Birja Devi Temple, Jajpur was consecrated as Dakshayanis navel part fallen here. The presiding deity of Jajpur Asta dasha shakti peetha is Goddess Girija Devi. Goddess Girija Devi is also worshiped with various names such as Goddess Birija Devi, Goddess Virija. The temple of Sri Girija Devi is a very small construction when we compare it to Puri Jagannath Temple or Lingraja Temple of bhubaneshwar. Nobody knows the exact time of the Girija Devi temples construction. But it was renovated in the 13th Century. Jajpur is also called as Baithangi Theertha or Birija Kshetram or Oddyana Peetha (an Oddiyana is an ornament worn by a woman around her navel).

About Goddess
The Durga idol has two hands (dwibhuja), spearing the chest of Mahishasura with one hand and pulling his tail with the other. One of her feet is on a lion, and the other is on Mahishasura's chest. Mahishasura is depicted as a water buffalo. The idol's crown features Ganesha, a crescent and a lingam. The whole idol of Goddess Girija Devi is decorated with flower garlands and gold jewelry. We can see only the face of Goddess Birija. The idol is decorated with silver crown full of jewels. Goddess Girija Devi blesses her devotees with her pleasant smiling face and charming looks.

Another significance aspect of this temple is - a well near the main temple of Girija Devi in which devotees perform ritual rites to their ancestors (Pinda pradhaan). People believe that these Pindas will reach Kasi directly. It seems the depth of the well is somewhere around 4 to 5 feet but it never dried up till now.

There are two episodes to illustrate the glory and glamour of Biraja Ksetra or modern Jajpur that have been depicted beautifully in puranic texts.

Nabhi Gaya Inside Temple
There is a fathomless well in the close proximity of Goddess Biraja inside the compound which is known as Nabhikupa or Nabhigaya where piṇdas are offered to the ancestors. As it is a famous Pitr-Tirtha, Hindu religious people from all over India and abroad come over here for the purpose of offering piṇdas (oblations) to their ancestors in the course of their pilgrimage When Lord Vishnu kílled Gayasura by performing Yagna on his heart, Gayasuras feet were in Pada Gaya (Pithapuram, Andhra Pradesh), Navel in Nabhi Gaya (Oddhyana peetha) and head at Siro Gaya (Gaya).

Nabhi GayaThe episode in the Gaya Mahatmya section of the Vayu purana relates a story thus-In the Svetavaraha kalpa a very powerful demon Gaya, who was sincerely devoted to Lord Visnu, performed severe penance on the Kolahala Mountain for thousands of years in order to achieve utmost purity of body and mind. Gods became scared at his penance and approached Lord Visnu who accompanied them to the demon Gaya in order to grant his desire. The demon on the fulfillment of his desire, attained purity and whosoever touched his body went to Visnuloka (the abode of Lord Visnu) with a liberated soul. The Yamaloka (the abode of the God of death) was desolated Yama, the God of death, in the company of Indra (the God of rain) with other Gods approached Brahma (the creator) who sought the counsel of Visnu. At the advice of Visnu, Brahma entreated Gaya for giving away his pure body for the purpose of a sacrifice, Gaya readily agreed to the proposal and immediately laid down his physical form on the earth in a south-western direction where by his head rested on the Kolahala Mountain beside the river Falgu his navel on Biraja beside the river Vaitarani and his feet at Pithapuram beside the river Godavari, Brahma performed a sacrifice on the Navel of Gaya at Biraja. As Gaya's body was unstable and unfavorable for performing the sacrifice, he entreated Visnu and other Gods to help him make the body stable, Visnu wielded his Gada (club) and made Gaya's body stable. Gaya complained of his unnecessary torture though he submitted to the desire of the gods. So Visnu asked him to choose a boon for offering his body for a greater interest whereby Gaya chose that Brahma, Visnu and Siva may remain in the three Places where his navel, head and feet fell as long as the earth, mountains, the sun, the moon and the stars last and let the abodes of these three Gods turn in to Pitr-tirthas, The desire of Gaya was granted and Visnu remained at Gaya (kolahala mountain) where the head of the demon fell. Brahma adored the Biraja Ksetra or modern Jajpur where the navel fell and Siva was associated with Pithapuram where the feet rested. Thus the ancient Biraja Ksetra turned in to a Pitr Tirtha and Navi Gaya was evolved out of the navel of demon Gaya, The Biraja Ksetra mahatmya illustrates the same story with the slightest modification and justified Viraja Ksetra as a Pitr-Tirtha similar to Pada Gaya Tirtha at Pithapuram and Mastaka Gaya Tirtha beside the river falgu in Magadha or the present Bihar.

The second episode craves for justifying Biraja Ksetra as a great sakti pitha that was known from the pre-Gupta period. Hence it is a post-facto attempt to put forth the revised version of an earlier tradition of Daksa - Yajna Vidhvamsan - prakarana to sanctify the place. Though the name of Biraja Ksetra is not found to be associated with any of the limbs of SATI in any of the earlier texts like Kurma purana and Matsya purana etc. Some latter texts of tantra have done so. The story of Daksa - Yajna - Vidhvamsana runs thus - SATI, the consort of Siva commits suicide in the sacrificial pit of his father Daksaprajapati listening to the invectives aimed at her husband Siva. At this Siva in a fit of rage carries sati's dead body on the shoulder and starts performing Tandava (a furious dance) dance that indicates the welcome of Pralaya or total destruction of the universe. At the request of the frightened gods, Visnu comes forward in order to save the universe and cuts down sati's body in to pieces by his wheel weapon. The limbs of Sati fell at different places of India and gave rise to sakta pithas, Sati's navel is said to have fallen in the VirajaKsetra and so it became known as Nabhipitha, a great saktapitha. However, the tradition goes that the Navel of the demon Gaya and Goddess Sati is the common element and in both the cases Visnu has cut down the body to cause the Navel fall as a result of which the place was glorified either as a Pitr-Tirtha or as a saktapitha. Here again there is an interlinking of the rise of sakti cult with the Vaishnavite faith in the form of an invisible amalgamation and mysterious process of assimilation between both the religious ideas.

There is a novel tradition here that people after offering pindas to their ancestors must have to pray to Goddess Biraja to receive their oblations on behalf of their ancestors instead of praying to lord Visnu as is customary everywhere in India. People from all over India come here to offer pindas to their ancestors at Nabhigaya and a visit to Goddess Biraja throughout the year. The best period for offering such pindas is during the Pitr-paksa (Mahalaya) in the month of September i.e. During the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada.

Important Places to see in Jajpur
Brahma Kund
(A holy place where Brahma did Yagna) is also present near temple. This pond also considered as Nabhi kund.

Jagannath Temple
It's on the bank of Baitarani River. This temple is present on the other side of Jajpur town. Beside this temple, there is Laxmi temple. Also we can find Raksha Kali's temple nearby.

Siddheshwar Temple
Siddheshwar Temple is one of the oldest temple of Lord Shiva in Jajpur district.

Vaitharani River
At a small distance from Goddess Girija Devi temple, Vaitharani River flows. But now the river is full of polluted water. Dashashwametha Ghat is the most important ghat among all the ghats here. The temple of Lord Yamadharma raj is located here. People believe that one who dips in the holy river Vaitharini and worships Lord Yama would easily cross the River Vaitharini after death. It also said that the water of river Vaitharini has a magical power to treat diseases and can remove all the sins of devotees.

Related Posts

  • Vaishno Devi Temple,Katra Vaishno Devi Temple,Katra

    Vaishno Devi Temple is the most-sought after pilgrimage of the Hindus. Located at Trikoot Parvat, Mata Vaishno Mandir is the holiest shrine of India and it is famous all over the World. The temple is accessible by a journey of 13 kms from Katra. Katra is a small town that falls in Udhampur district of Jammu. From Jammu, Katra lies at a distance of 50 kms.

  • Sri Kodanda Rama Swamy Temple, Vontimitta Sri Kodanda Rama Swamy Temple, Vontimitta

    Vontimitta Sri Kodanda rama Swamy temple is a famous Hindu temple in Andhra Pradesh state is dedicated to Lord Rama. The temple is present in Vontimitta town of Rajampet taluk in YSR Kadapa District.

  • Khadri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, Kadiri Khadri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, Kadiri

    Kadiri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple is located in the southeastern part of Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh, India. Lord Narasimha at Kadiri is swayambhu emerging from the roots of Khadri tree. He appears here as Ashta Bahu Narasimha (having eight hands) tearing Hiranyakasipu. We can see Prahlada standing beside him with folded hands.

  • Sammakka Saralamma Jatara, Medaram Sammakka Saralamma Jatara, Medaram

    Sammakka Saralamma Jatara or Medaram Jatara is a tribal festival of honouring the goddesses celebrated in the state of Telangana, India. The Jatara begins at Medaram in Tadvai Mandal in Warangal district.Medaram is a remote place in the Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary, a part of Dandakaranya, the largest surviving forest belt in the Deccan.

  • Ramalingeswara Temple, Warangal Ramalingeswara Temple, Warangal

    The Ramappa Temple, also known as Ramalingeswara temple is located in the Palampet village at a distance of about 77 km from Warangal. The temple is another example of Kakatiya Dynasty. This is one of the temples which was named after its chief architect. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the architecture of this temple is similar to the famous Ghanpur Group of Temples of Warangal itself. The temple is a master piece of Kakatiyan architecture and everyone must visit to get a glimpse in the life of Kakatiya people.

  • Lepakshi Temple, Lepakshi Lepakshi Temple, Lepakshi

    Lepakshi is a village in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located 15 km (9.3 mi) east of Hindupur and approximately 120 km (75 mi) north of Bangalore. Lepakshi is culturally and archaeologically significant as it is the location of shrines dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Veerabhadra which were built during the Vijayanagara Kings' period (1336-1646).

  • Ram Mandir, Ayodhya Ram Mandir, Ayodhya

    Ayodhya is the place where Lord Sri Ram was born and ruled for many years (after killing Ravana). There was an existing temple built in this city, proofs of which have been found during ASI excavation. More than the physical temple and exact spot, the important point is the association of this city (town) with Lord Sri Rama, the most important incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

  • Siddeshwara Swamy Temple, Warangal Siddeshwara Swamy Temple, Warangal

    Siddeshwara temple has a rich ancient history associated with it. The temple was built in 3rd century A.D. Even though built in a time period when life was totally different from today's world, people fascinate about the architecture of this temple a lot.

  • Sri Kakuleswara Swamy Temple, Srikakulam Sri Kakuleswara Swamy Temple, Srikakulam

    Srikakulam has a rich history and is the first capital of the Andhra Kingdom. The ancient Srikakuleswara Swamy temple is located on the banks of River Krishna and is considered to be the 57th of 108 Divya Desams, holiest of shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu, by Vasihnavaites. The temple has a rich cultural and historical legacy and is one of the oldest temples in the south. Great poets like Srinatha Kavi Sarvabhoumudu, Kasuala Purushottama and Narayanatheertha, the composer of Sri Krishna Leela Tharangini praised the temple in their works. The temple is located in the mandal of Ghantasala, which is a popular Buddhist center.

  • Sri Mallikharjuna Swamy Temple, Komaravelli Sri Mallikharjuna Swamy Temple, Komaravelli

    The Lord is believed to have manifested as Sri Mallikharjuna Swamy and made Komaravelli his abode in the eleventh century CE. The Lord married Golla Ketamma from the Yadava community and Medalamma from the Linga Balija community, which explains the association of those communities with the worship services of the Lord.

Latest Posts

  • Temples
  • Sacred Places
  • Articles
  • Pancha Sabhai Sthalams / Sthalangal
    Pancha Sabhai Sthalangal refers to the temples of Lord Nataraja, a form of Lord Shiva where he performed the Cosmic Dance. Panc..
  • Pancha Bhoota Stalas
    Pancha Bhoota Stalam or Pancha Bhoota Stala refers to the five Shiva temples, dedicated to Shiva, the most powerful Hindu god a..
  • 18 Shakti Peethas / Asta Dasa Shakti Peethas
    Astadasha Shakthi Peetas Lord Brahma performed a yagna to please Shakti and Shiva. Goddess Shakti emerged, separating from Shiv..
  • Navagaraha Sthala or Temple
    Navagraha Suriyan (Sun), Chandran (Moon), Chevvai (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Guru (jupiter), Sukra (Venus), Sani (Saturn), Rahu (..


  • Siddeshwara Swamy Temple, Warangal
  • 10 Unique things you should do in Kolhapur
  • Sri Seetha Ramachandra Swamy Vaari Devasthanams, Bhadrachalam, Khammam, Telangana
  • Sri Brahmaramba Mallikarjuna Swamy Devasthanam, Srisailam, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh
  • Maisigandi Maisamma Temple Kadthal,  Mahabubnagar, Telangana
  • Arulmigu Jambukeswarar Akhilandeswari Temple, Thiruvanaikaval, Trichy, Tamilnadu
  • Sri Lakshmi Tirupatamma Devasthanam, Penuganchiprolu, Andhra Pradesh
  • Sri Subrahmanyeswara Swamy Vari Devasthanam, Mopidevi, Andhra Pradesh
  • Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Varla Devastanams, Vijayawada
  • Sree Bhadrakali Devasthanam, Warangal
  • Sri Lakshmi Ganapathy Temple, Biccavolu
  • Ashok Vatika
  • The Lords Own Country, Dwarka
  • Simhachalam Temple
  • Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple