Thursday, April 12, 2018


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Kalijai Temple in Odisha is located on the island of Kalijai – Kalijai Parvata – in the midst of the majestic Chilika Lake.  
Odisha is one of the most culturally affluent and vibrant states of India. Every year tourists visit the state to see the magnificent Jagannath Temple in Puri. But there are many other places in the state other than Puri that are unexplored. I Would not say that Kalijai is an uncharted place but definitely one of the less explored one. 
We Know Chilika is the queen of natural beauty, one of the largest brackish water lake in Asia. It covers an area of over 1,100 sq. km offering a great attraction for the tourists for fishing, bird watching and boating. In the winter season Chilika is also aflutter with thousands of indigenous and seasonal birds of many varieties from far and near - even from the faraway Siberia. There are many islands, small and big in the midst of it.  Maa Kalijai Island is one of them in the Chilika Lake,  It is a very popular tourist place in Odisha. This island is famous for Maa Kalijai Temple. Maa Kalijai Temple considered being the abode of the Goddess Kalijai (One form of Maa Kali or Goddess Kali). Kalijai Temple is highly revered by the local populace; the deity has been venerated in the local folklores and legends. The island provides an excellent destination for pilgrimage as well as tourists. Every year in January, a huge gala fair is held during the festival of Makar Shankranti 

The name of this temple became Kalijai because of Maa Kali and Maa Jaai.  We know Maa Kali, The Goddess Kali but there is a legend or folklore acclaimed in the formation of the goddess Maa Jaai . The story or folk fare is well narrated by Pandit GODABARISA MISHRA in a ballad named KALIJAI which is taught in the Odia Text Books in the school. 
The story goes on like this. There was a girl named Jaai / Jai who was already married as a child to a boy of an affluent family lived in another Island PARIKUDA in the Chilika Lake as  a custom in those days.   According to the tradition, after the marriage, the girl stays in her father's house and when she comes of her age, she goes to her in-law's house. So on the eventful day JAAI was taken by her father to PARIKUDA Island in a boat to ferry them across the lake of CHILIKA.
Like any other girl, just-into-her-teen, JAAI was crying inconsolably while parting away from her home, family and land. She was apprehensive about the uncanny things stored in her future as in-laws family were/are considered as hell for newly married girls. The poet describes how the girl was lamenting on being taken away from her playful life into a life full of sufferings.
Now as we all are experiencing now, the state of ODISHA especially the coastal areas of it, is always prone to tropical cyclones. On that day, there was a severe cyclonic storm closed in onto the, when the boat was navigating a BIG WHIRLPOOL of water in it, As The wind speed got its pace the boat got capsized into the WHIRLPOOL or GANDA. However everybody in the boat survived while the girl wasn't.  After that the boatman and JAAI's father searched for her but to no avail.
It is believed that even after her death, JAAI's voice could be heard in the island adjoining the WHIRLPOOL. People overtime believed that JAAI had attained some spirituality or MOKSHA during the whole incident and had reincarnated as a form of Goddess KALI and is hence  worshipped as Goddess KALIJAI.
Historically though, the temple was built by KING JAGANNATH MANSINGH of the kingdom of BANKUD, present day BANAPUR in the year 1717.
Whether we believe the folk-tale or not, but If you would like to visit the  island, in  steamer, they  would take a semi circular route to the island in order to avoid that infamous large WHIRLPOOL visible to the naked eye. It is believed that still that place is having an uncanny call for death a kind of haunted place. Nobody had/would survive navigating through that Whirlpool or GANDA.
 Now days, many things have been developed there. You will find yummy foods as a spread, both snacks and lunch. People seldom stay there in the night. It is always advisable to get back from that place by the evening.
Because of this legend, as the newlywed girl JAAI faced a tragic death on her first journey to her in-laws house, in Odia culture, father is not allowed to accompany the girl to take her to the in-laws house, first time. It is considered inauspicious.

This is my Post for DAY – 11

 For the Alphabet K  In #ATozChallenge by #Blogchatter #BlogchatterA2Z 



  1. Makes me nostaljic to see this post ... I want to be in Chilika lake now. Just a week ago, my aie was reading out Kalijai poem by Pandit Godavarish Mishra to us ... what words and description.

    1. Bhala kari naa buhare nauri, Jhia Ku madichhi Dara, Gadgade loke Chahi Bashithibe, Jhia jiba Sasughara.......I still remeber the lines. I had a mental visit to this place while writing it. Thank You for your visit.

  2. टीना जी, कालीजी के मंदिर का बहुत ही सुंदर वर्णन किया हैं आपने। फोटोज भी बहुत अच्छी आई है।

    1. Thank You Jyoti Ji for your visit to my blog and your appreciative words :)